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PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 



PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 
AND THE WAR 



HEREWARD CARRINGTON, Ph.D. 

ujiBoa or "d*»t«: m oadhm 




NEW YOKE 
DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY 

1018 



COPTBIOBT, 1918, 

Bt DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY. Inc. 



DEDICATED 



TO TH08B BRAVE SOULS WHO HAVE, 

WHILE FIGHTING FOB THEIR COUNTRY, 

SOLVED THE PROBLEMS WITH 

WHICH THIS BOOK DEALS 




PREFACE 

The present book is an attempt to study the psycho- 
logical forces at work in the present world war; and 
for this purpose I have divided the book into two por- 
tions : Part I dealing with psychology proper, — applied 
to the minds of nations and of individuals; Part II to 
psychical or supernormal phenomena, — largely of a 
spiritistic character, — which have been observed to oc- 
cur at various times, and of which the present war fur- 
nishes many freah examples. 

Thus Part I may be said to study the mind of the sol- 
dier up to the point where he is killed in action; while 
Part II continues our study of the same soldier after 
Wb death. We thus extend our inquiry into the realms 
of the vast Beyond, — and seek to bring back from that 
Unknown Land definite knowledge of those who so- 
journ there. 



Several books have been published dealing with psy- 
chic phenomena consequent upon the great war, such 
as Raymond; Private Dowdina; Gone West, etc., but 
these books are strictly limited in their purview, and 
do not attempt to survey the whole field, while the last 
two mentioned are the product of automatic writing. 
Sir Oliver Lodge's book has, of course, aroused a great 
deal of comment, and has been the means of affording 
solace to many who have been bereaved by the war. I 
wish to acknowledge, in this place, my indebtedness 
to these books, for having suggested to me the compila- 



viii PREFACE 

tion of the present volume; I have also made extracts 
from the books in Chapter XI. I wish also to acknowl- 
edge here my indebtedness to the editor of the Journal 
of the Society for Psychical Research, for kind permis- 
sion to quote several cases published in the Journal; 
to Mr. Ralph Shirley, editor of the Occult Review, for 
permission to quote several valuable articles appear- 
ing in his magazine; and to the Harbinger of Light, 
The International Psychic Gazette, Light, The Two 
Worlds, Azolh, The Psychical Research Review, The 
Literary Digest, The Bookman, and other periodicals, 
for material utilized. Also, to Rosa Stuart's book, 
Dreams and Visions of the War, and to M. Maeter- 
linck's The Light Beyond, for "cases" and quotations. 

For material utilized in Part I, I wish especially to 
acknowledge my indebtedness to M. LeBon 's book, The 
Psychology of the Great War, and to Dr. George W. 
Crile's Mechanistic Conception of War and Peace. 
The bulk of the psychological material, relating to the 
mind of the combatant in action, is taken from my own 
article on "The Mind of the Soldier," first published 
in the Forum, January, 1916, and reprinted here, by 
the editor's kind permission, with considerable addi- 
tions. The chapter dealing with the psychology of the 
soldier in action is (naturally) based almost entirely 
npon observations on the Franco-British front; and 
but little reference to the psychology of the American 
Boldier is as yet possible. Doubtless many psycho- 
logical observations of great value will be forthcom- 
ing, when U. S. soldiers get into action on a vast scale. 

I particularly wish to acknowledge, here, my indebt- 
edness to Mrs. Ethel Raynor, — to whose sympathetic 
cooperation and assistance this book owes so much. 

H.C. 






CONTENTS 

Preface vii 

PART I.— NORMAL 

I Introductory 3 

II. German Methods op Warfare: 7 

The Psychology of the Doctrine of "Frightful- 
neas." 
Ill The Psychology of the Soldier; .... 29 
§1. During Mobilization; in the Canton- 
ments; in the Trenches. 
IV. The Psychology of the Soldier (continued) . 61 
§2. During the Attack; Pain; Shell-Shock; 
Dreams; Fatigue, etc. 



PART II.— SUPERNORMAL 
V. Psychical Phenomena, Science and The War 101 
VI. Psychic Phenomena Aiudst the Warring 

Nations 128 

VII. Prophecies and Premonitions 141 

VIII. Apparitions and Dreams of Soldiers . . . 172 
DC Clairvoyant Descriptions of Death; Death 

Described by "Spirits." 229 

X. Our Dead Soldiers Yet Live! 242 

XI. Communications Prom Soldiers Who hate 

"Died" 270 

XII. The Spiritual Revival Awakened by the 

War 327 

Index 361 



PART I 



NORMAL 



(PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 
AND THE WAR 
The ii 
been s 



CHAPTER I 



INTBODUCTORY 






The importance of psychical investigation has never 
been so forcefully demonstrated to ns as by the pres- 
ent great World War. Is man essentially body or 
Bpiritl The former seems to be the view expounded 
in German philosophy; and it has resulted in the 
greatest cataclysm the world has ever known. Every 
month that passes, thousands of souls are being shot 
into the spiritual world — or obliterated altogether, ac- 
cording to onr view of the facts. What becomes of 
theml Is it not our duty to ascertain, so far as is hu- 
manly possible, whether they be truly obliterated, or 
whether they continue to persist in some spiritual 
world! and if so, how and where f Surely this is the 
most important question man can set himself, when 
every day the papers contain names of those "killed 
iu action" — a long "Roll of Honour," with no cer- 
tainty of anything beyond! At a time such as this, 
when thousands of parents, wives and mothers are 
yearning for some definite word from those who are 
no more; at a time when the faintest word of hope and 
encouragement would mean so much, if founded upon 
truth and ascertainable fact; the importance of this in- 









4 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

vestigation snrely looms np before as; for it is by this 
moans, — by psychical phenomena and by these alone, — 
that either the truth or the falsehood of spiritual ex- 
istence can be proved; for this method and this alone 
is the one capable of ultimately solving the great rid- 
dle of existence. . . . 

The whole question of psychology, in the present 
war, assumes a great and hitherto unsuspected impor- 
tance. For, on the one hand, we find certain psycho- 
logical principles underlying the methods and conduct 
of the various warring nations ; — the mind of the sol- 
dier in the cantonment, in the trenches, and in action 
— his dreams, phobias, fears and heroism; and, on the 
other hand, as we have said, it enables us to attack the 
great central problem: whether the soul or spirit of 
man is extinguished at death, or whether it continues 
to persist in some other sphere of activity — some 
"spiritual world" — whither we shall all one day travel. 

A gigantio psychological experiment is being under- 
taken in Europe; as never before, certain psychologi- 
cal and psychical phenomena present themselves for 
investigation and solution; and these should assuredly 
be studied with the same degree of care and exactitude 
as the wounds, injuries, and pathological disturbances 
due to bodily injury are being studied by physicians 
and surgeons now at the front. For, in the present 
conflict, surgery of the soul is no less a reality than 
surgery of the body ; and such an opportunity for gath- 
ering valuable psychical and psychological data may 
not again present itself for many generations — in fact, 
never again, in the history of the human race — and my 
purpose in writing this book is largely to make a 
first, — it may be crude, — attempt to gather together 
and Btudy material of this character, and to urge upon 






INTRODUCTORY 5 

the various warring governments the importance of 
having a few experts appointed, on all fronts, whose 
doty it would be to gather psychological data of this 
character, for future generations to study. Already, 
the French Government has approved the publication, 
in the BvXk'iin des Annees of an appeal, by Professor 
Charles Richet, for psychical experiences and "cases" 
of all sorts; and I understand that a great number of 
such cases have already been collected, and will be 
published shortly. A similar investigation, undertaken 
by the British and American governments, would 
doubtless yield lasting and extremely valuable scien- 
tific results. 

The present world war, while it must be considered, 
in a sense, the greatest catastrophe the world has ever 
known, yet has shown us, as nothing else possibly 
could, the innate spiritual loftiness and heroism resi- 
dent in man's soul. Deeds of valor have been per- 
formed which we would have deemed incredible but a 
few years ago, — or attributed only to the heroes of 
mythology. Compared with them, the soldiers in the 
present war shine out as super-he roes— the re is no 
comparison, indeed, between the single brave deeds-of- 
arms formerly performed, and the year-in, year-out 
struggle, the continuous hell, which our soldiers are en- 
during. And whereas, in former wars, single acts of 
heroism were marked for distinction, in the present 
conflict, every man is a hero ; and not only the men, 
but the women too have displayed a devotion, a pluck, 
an endurance surprising to all who have witnessed it, 
and never before approximated in the history of the 
world. 

Should it be proved, however, largely as the result 
of the present conflict, that man is immortal; that he 



6 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAE 



possesses a spiritual principle within himself which 
survives the death of the body, and continues to per- 
sist in some sphere of activity more suited to its evo- 
lutionary progress than is this world, — then it will 
not have been in vain, for mankind will have gained 
knowledge past all recompense, the " pearl of great 
price," for it will have solved the riddle of existence, 
and shown that we are indeed immortal, and that we 
can, at times, return and communicate with those yet 
living upon this earth. 



CHAPTER n 



' METHODS OF WARFARE ! THE PSTCHOLOOT OF THE 
DOCTRINE OF " FRIGHTFULNESS" 



Battle 

With a terrible delight 
I bear far guns Ion, like oxen, at the night. 
Flames disrupt the sky. The work is begun. 
"Action !" My guns crash, flame, rock, and stun 
Again and again. Soon the soughing night 
Is loud wilh the clamour and leaps with their light. 
The imperative chorus rises sonorous and (ell; 
My heart glows lighted as by fires ot hell, 
Sharply I pass the terse orders down: 
The guns stun and rock. The hissing rain is blown 
Athwart the hurtling shell that shrilling, shrilling goea 
Away into the dark to burst, a cloud of rose. 
Over their trenches. 

Robert Nichols. 



It may be appropriate to begin our study of the psy- 
chological principles underlying the great war by a 
brief study of the German mind, as manifested in the 
military leaders of Germany; as the result of which 
we may be enabled to understand why it is that the 
Germans have behaved themselves as they have, and 
antagonized and embittered the whole world by their 
acts of savagery and cruelty. 
For some generations, the Germans have been sedu- 
Bly educated in the psychological principles under- 



8 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAS 

lying the present militarists' conduct of the war. 
Bernhardi, Treitschke, and others have so instilled into 
the Germans that they are a "superior people," that 
"might is right," that power constitutes that acme of 
attainment, etc., that they have become blind to any 
other doctrines than their own; materialism has laid 
hold upon thera, as a nation; their mechanistic concep- 
tion of the universe has led to the complete disregard 
of the higher, spiritual values and powers, and in con- 
sequence of this, their understanding and appreciation 
of others, holding different views, has steadily dimin- 
ished, until, of late years, it may be said to have been 
almost nil. Yet there is a poetic retribution iu all this ; 
for, as we shall see presently, it is these very qualities 
in the German mind, — this lack of understanding of 
the psychology of others, which will lose Germany the 
war. 

War, say the Germans, is man's normal vocation; 
"all else is foolishness." Biologically, there is some- 
thing to be said in favour of the view that man is a 
fighting animal, and will always fight. But the German 
extension of this doctrine is quite unwarranted. Man 
will assuredly outgrow war, with increasing knowledge 
and spiritual development. But it is because of the 
fact that, as yet, man is very largely a primitive ani- 
mal, that be can be induced to make war, by the glam- 
our which has always surrounded it. Says Dr. Crile 
{A Mechanistic Conception of War and Peace): — 

"As I reflected upon the intensive application of 
man to war in cold, rain, and mud; in rivers, canals, 
and lakes; underground, in the air, and under the sea; 
infected with vermin, covered with scabs, adding the 
stench of his own filthy body to that of his decompos- 
ing comrades ; hairy, begrimed, bedraggled, yet with 









I 



GERMAN METHODS OF WARFARE 



9 



unflagging zeal striving eagerly to kill his fellows; 
and as I felt within myself the mystical urge of the 
sound of great cannon I realized that war is a normal 
state of man." 

The Germans, having realized this fact, have played 
upon it, and made it the basis of their militaristic and 
terroristic policy, in their conduct of the war. 

From the beginning of the war the Germans have 
endeavoured to terrify the enemy. They have shot 
or tortured a large number of inoffensive civilians in 
order to frighten the others, and have put the finish- 
ing Btroke to the effect thus produced by levying Buch 
immense contributions that the survivors were stripped 
bare. If the enemy can be influenced by destroying 
monuments which he is fond of, they are bombarded 
until nothing is left of them but ruins. We know how 
carefully this system was carried out in most of the 
Belgian towns and villages. The whole population 
was assembled at a given place, where a certain num- 
ber of civilians were shot and the bouses were plun- 
dered and then burnt. These things were done openly 
and the officers gloried in them. As M. Andler says : — 

"In a proclamation addressed to the municipal au- 
thorities of Liege, and dated the 22nd of August, Gen- 
eral von Bulow, alluding to tbe sack of Andenne, said: 
'It was with my consent that the Commander-in-Chief 
caused the entire town to be burnt and that about one 
hnndred persons were shot.' " 

These savage Generals are only continuing Ger- 
many's ancient modes of warfare. In the twelfth cen- 
tury Frederick Barbarossa almost always had one hand 
of each of his prisoners cut off, and when he had pil- 
laged and afterwards burnt Milan he ordered all the 
inhabitants who could be seized to be put to death. In 



10 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

Sicily hia son caused prisoners to be flayed alive oi 
blinded. Such conduct has always been customary 
among the Germans. In 1622 Tilly massacred all thi 
inhabitants of Heidelberg and burnt the city, and in 
1631 he sacked the town of Magdeburg, destroyed fif- 
teen hundred houses and six churches, and burnt most 
of the inhabitants alive. 

Bismarck asserted that war must be made extremely 
painful to the civil population for the sake of inclininj 
it to the idea of peace. In 1870 he said: — 

"True strategy consists in bitting your enemy am 
in hitting him hard. Above all, you should inflict the 
maximum of suffering upon the inhabitants of the 
cities you invade, in order to sicken them of the strug- 
gle, and to secure their aid in putting pressure upon 
their Government to induce it to stop the war. To 
the people of the countries through which you pass you 
should leave nothing but their eyes with which to weep. 

"Onr guiding rule in every case is to make war so 
terrible to the civil population that they will them- 
selves entreat for peace. ' ' 

We have seen with what fierce ardour the Germans 
have followed this advioe, how they have set village! 
on fire and burnt women and children alive or sub- 
jected them to torture ; but these actions have had no 
result except the exodus of the inhabitants en masse. 

Cases of massacre and of torture inflicted upon pris- 
oners are innumerable. The Temps of December 31, 
1914, gives the following facts: — 

"On the 6th of September the cavalryman Blacke- 
landt was disarmed. He was bound and his abdomen 
was ripped open with bayonet thrusts. At Taminea 
a French officer was tied to the trunk of a tree and a 
horse was fastened to each of his legs. At a signal the 



o 
u 

>• 

: 

: 









GERMAN METHODS OF WARFARE 11 

horseB were whipped. It was quartering in all its hor- 
ror.' *I saw,' says an eye-witness, 'his red trousers 
tear and the body burst asunder.' " 

The following extracts were published by the Jour- 
nal de Geneve of May 5, 1915: — 

' ' The massacre and conflagration commenced by sig- 
nal and at an hour which had been settled in advance. 
The horror was unutterable. The troops soon got 
shockingly drunk and gave themselves up to the most 
shameful excesses. The officers were in command, and 
M. Fuglister heard them say, 'Kill every one and burn 
everything.' It is still impossible to give exact figures, 
but the population was forty -three thousand, and there 
are not more than twenty-one thousand people left in 
Louvain. 

"M. Fuglister testified personally to a series of pe- 
culiarly dreadful atrocities. He has the proofs and is 
keeping them. The known limits of the horrible are 
enlarged by the things which happened in this place." 
But," it may be contended, "these are prejudiced 
reports, written by outsiders, enemies of Germany; 
and may not be true at all!" No one who has read 
the Bryce Reports can doubt the truth of these ac- 
counts, however. If further proof were needed, it 
could be secured from the diarieB of the German offi- 
cers and soldiers themselves. Take, for example, the 
following extracts, picked almost at random from a 
vast number equally horrible. 

A Saxon officer's notebook: — 

"24th August. The charming village of Que d'Hos- 
sus (Ardennes) has been given up to be burnt, although 
it is guiltless, as it seems to me. They tell me that a 
cyclist was thrown and that his rifle discharged itself 



12 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

as he fell. Shots were then fired in his direction and 
thereupon all the male inhabitants were thrown into 
the flames." 

Another : — 

"In this way we destroyed eight houses, together 
with their inmates. In one of them two men and their 
wives and a young girl of eighteen were bayoneted. 
I almost pitied the little creature, she looked so inno- 
cent 1" 

Another fragment of a notebook : — 

"25th August (in Belgium) : Three hundred inhabi- 
tants of the town were shot.. The survivors were re- 
quisitioned as grave-diggers. You ought to have seen 
the women then I" 

Some of the soldiers had treated the prisoners kind- 
ly, so General Stenger, who commanded the 58th Bri- 
gade, gave his troops the following order on the 25th 
of August: — 

"To date from this day no prisoners will be made 
any longer. All the prisoners will be executed. The 
wounded, whether armed or defenceless, will be exe- 
cuted. Prisoners, even in large and compact forma- 
tions, will be executed. Not a single living man will be 
left behind us." 

Or the following extracts, recently published in the 
Literary Digest, from diaries in the possession of the 
United States Government, and found upon dead Ger- 
man soldiers: 

"A horrible bath of blood. The whole village 
burned, the French thrown into the blazing houses, 
civilians with the rest." (From the diary of Private 
Hassemer of the Eighth Army Corps.) 

"In the night of August 1* ID the village of Saint- 












GERMAN METHODS OF WARFARE 13 

Maurice was punished for having fired on German sol- 
diers by being burned to the ground by German troops 
(two regiments, the Twelfth l<mdwehr and the Seven- 
teenth). The village was surrounded, men posted 
about a yard from one another, so that no one could 
get out. Then the Uhlans set fire to it, house by house. 
Neither man, woman, nor child could escape. . . . Any 
one who ventured to eome out was shot down. All the 
inhabitants left in the village were burned with the 
houses. ' ' (From the diary of Private Karl Scheufele of 
the Third Bavarian Regiment of landwehr infantry.) 

"At ten o'clock in the evening the first battalion of 
the One Hundred and Seventy-eighth marched down the 
steep incline into the burning village to the north of 
Dinant — a terrific spectacle of ghastly beauty. At the 
entrance to the village lay about fifty dead civilians, 
shot for having fired upon our troops from ambush. 
In the course of the night many others were also shot, 
so that we counted over two hundred. Women and 
children, lamp in hand, were forced to look on at the 
horrible scene. We ate our rice later in the midst of 
the corpses, for we had had nothing since morning. 
When we searched the houses we found plenty of wine 
and spirit, but no eatables. Captain Hamann was 
drunk." (This last phrase in shorthand.) (From the 
diary of Private Philipp of the One Hundred and Sev- 
enty-eighth Regiment of Infantry, Twelfth Army 
Corps.) 

"August 23, Sunday (between Birnal and Dinant, 
village of Dison). At 11 o'clock the order comeB to ad- 
vance after the artillery has thoroughly prepared the 
ground ahead. The Pioneers and Infantry regiment, 
One Hundred and Seventy-eighth, were marching in 
front of us. Near a small village the latter was fired 






14 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

on by the inhabitants. About 220 inhabitants were 
shot and the village was burned. Artillery is continu- 
ously shooting. The village lies in a large ravine. Just 
now, 6 o'clock in the afternoon, the crossing of the 
Maas begins near Diuaut. . . . All villages, chateaux, 
and houses are burned down during this night. It was 
a beautiful sight to see the fires all around us in the 
distance." (From the diary of Matbern, Fourth Com- 
pany, Eleventh Jager Battalion, Marburg.) 

But here are three entries that show the hearts of the 
writers to have been still free from the taint of blood- 
lust: 

"At 5 o'clock we were ordered by the officer in com- 
mand of the regiment to shoot all the male inhabitants 
of Nomeny, because the population was foolishly at- 
tempting to stay the advance of the German troops by 
force of arms. We broke iuto the houses and seized 
all who resisted, in order to execute them according to 
martial law. 

"The houses which had not been already destroyed 
by the French artillery and onr own were set on fire 
by us, so that nearly the whole town was reduced to 
ashes. It is a terrible sight when helpless women and 
children, utterly destitute, are herded together and 
driven into France." (From the diary of Private 
Fischer, Eighth Bavarian Regiment of Infantry, Thir- 
ty-third Reserve Division.) 

"The inhabitants have fled in the village. It was 
horrible. There was clotted liluod on all the beards, 
and what faces one saw, terrible to behold. Tin? jnflr). 
sixty in all, were at once buried. Among them wore 
many old women, some old men, awful to see; three 
children had clasped each other and died thus." (From 






GERMAN METHODS OF WARFARE 15 

the diary of Lance-corporal Paul Spielmann of the Er- 
satz, First Brigade of Infantry of the Guard.) 

"In the night the inhabitants of Liege became muti- 
nous. Forty persons were shot and fifteen houses de- 
molished; ten soldiers shot. The sights here make you 
cry." 

The following extract from the diary of an officer 
calmly records the sacking of a convent and the mur- 
der of the inmates. Mark how munitions were con- 
served : 

"Our men came back and said that at the point where 
the valley joined the Meuse we could not get on any 
farther as the villagers were shooting at us from every 
house. We shot the whole lot — sixteen of tbem. They 
were drawn ap in three ranks— the same shot did for 
three at a time. . . . The men had already shown their 
brutal instincts. . . . The sight of the bodies of all 
the inhabitants who had been shot was indescribable. 
Every house in the whole village was destroyed. We 
dragged the villagers one after another out of the most 
unlikely corners. The men were shot as well as the 
women and children who were in the convent, since 
shots had been fired from the convent windows, and we 
burned it afterward." 

Bombardier Wetzel is an emotionless Hon, if one 
may judge from these impassive entries in his diary. 

"August 8. First fight and set fire to several vil- 
lages. 

"August 9. Returned to old quarters, where we 
searched all the houses and shot the mayor and shot 
one man down from the chimney-pot, and then agaiu 
set fire to the village. 

"October 11. We had no fight, but we caught about 
twenty men and shot them." 



16 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

And the Germans are not alone to blame for such 
atrocities. The wholesale massacres committed by the 
Turks and Bulgars are too well-known to need more 
than the merest reminder; we have, in fact, almost 
grown to disregard them and accept them as a "matter 
of course" — with imaginable consequences to the 
Serbs, Montenegrins, Armenians, Syrians, and other 
temporarily subjugated nationalities! The Austrians 
have also been guilty of the grossest cruelties and tor- 
tures — as a number of photographs and sworn state- 
ments show. Professor Reiss, for example, of the Uni- 
versity of Lausanne, who went to Serbia and published 
some of his findings in the Revue de Paris, April 7, 
1915, says, with regard to the kind of cruelties prac- 
tised by the Austrian soldiers under the order of their 
officers : — 

"I have observed the following kinds of mutilation 
and slaughter: the victims were shot, bayoneted to 
death, their throats were cut with knives, they were 
violated and then killed, they were stoned, hanged, 
beaten to death with the butt-ends of rifles or with 
clubs, were disembowelled or burned alive; their leg! 
or arms were cut off, or torn out, their ears or noses 
were cut off, their eyes were put out, their breasts 
wore cut off, their skin was cut into strips or their flesh 
was detached from the bones, and, lastly, a little girl 
three months old was thrown to the pigs." 

Take, again, the following touching account, which 
appeared in a French newspaper, and the accuracy of 
which was vouched for by a number of well-known in- 
habitants of the districts: — 

"Mme. Huard, who at once began to prepare her 
homo to serve as a hospital, was asked to visit a child 
in a neighbouring village that had also suffered at the 









GERMAN METUODS OF WARFARE 17 

handB of the invaders. The little girl, who was only 
ten years old, waB almost crazed with terror. Mme. 
Huard says that she found the child in bed, but when 
her eyes fell npon the uniform of the doctor who ac- 
companied her she sprang into a corner of the room 
where she cowered, shrieking: 

" 'I am afraid ! I am afraid ! Don't come near me I 
Don't, don't!' Her little body was quaking, tortured 
by her spirit. 

"The old grandmother darted into the room and, 
seizing the doctor by the arm, motioned him to come 
away. 

" 'Elvire,' pleaded the broken-hearted mother, 'El- 
vire, he's gone.' 

" 'But he'U come back! No! no! I'm afraid. No, 
don't let him come, don't let him touch me.' 

" 'Elvire,' I called, my voice shaking with horror 
and emotion. 'Elvire, don't you remember met Sure- 
ly — Mme. Huard f Don't yon remember how we used 
to sing together last springV 

"A queer choking sound came from her throat. Her 
eyes softened, but no tears came. There were none 
left. 

"Then followed the hardest moral struggle I ever 
hope to experience — a full half-hour in which I sought 
to convince this little fear-cowed animal of my integ- 
rity. And when at last I held that tiny heaving body 
against my breast, saw the eyes close peacefully, I 
knew that I had won a victory. 

"Elvire slept, slept for the first time since the 5th 
of September. We had already guessed the woeful 
truth, but to corroborate our direst suppositions, the 
tales of German cowardice and brutality that mid tears 
and lamentations we wrung from those grief-bowed 



18 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

peasant women made me feel that war might pass and 
peace might come again, but I could never pardon." * 

How do the Germans attempt to justify such fright- 
ful atrocities! They do not attempt to justify them; 
on the contrary, they glory in them! As a German 
General wrote in a Berlin newspaper, quoted in the 
Revue des Deux Mondes, December 15, 1914: — 

"We have nothing to justify, for everything that our 
soldiers may do to harm the enemy will be well done 
and justified in advance. If all the architectural mas- 
terpieces between our guns and those of the French 
went to perdition, it would be a matter of perfect in- 
difference to us. . . . They call us barbarians; but we 
laugh at such nonsense. At the most we might ask 
ourselves whether we have not some right to the name. 
Let no one say anything more to us about the Cathe- 
dral of Reims or all the churches and palaces that will 
share its fate, for we do not wish to hear any more 
about them. If we can only get news from Eeims that 
our troops have made a second triumphal entry, noth- 
ing else matters." 

" How all this has already begun to undermine the mental and 
physical health of the inhabitants of the German -occupied districts 
is well pointed-out by Dr. Crile (A Mechanistic Conception of War 
and Peace, pp. 88-89) : 

"Toe Belgian exiles whom I bave seen show a loss in morale; 
they are preoccupied, absent-minded, diseased, homesick, weak, de- 
jected, bitter, and broken. They have suffered a permanent loss 
which is beyond compensation and beyond redemption. Thus mil- 
lions of men, women, children, and unborn infants have been sub- 
jected to a vivisection of unparalleled cruelty unsurpassed in tbo 
history of man or of the lower animals. It is as if upon Belgium 
as a whole, every degree of physical, mental and moral torture 
had been inflicted without anesthesia. In fact, in the present con- 
dition of the Belgian exiles their progressive moral vivisection still 
cciutiuues. . . ." 









GERMAN METHODS OF WARFARE 19 

The Germans are astounded at the indignation with 
which nentrals regard their conduct, for they have sim- 
ply obeyed theories which they thought it their duty 
to apply practically, and they cannot see that there is 
anything so very surprising about incendiarism and 
pillage. As Frederick the Great said long ago: "Pil- 
lage is not at all the same as theft." 

The German officer is treated with enormous respect 
because of his power in barracks, and, fancying that 
he is made of finer clay than other people, he recog- 
nizes no law but that of the military code. A very 
typical example of his mentality was furnished by the 
notorious affair at Zabern, where a Colonel had some 
thirty civilians, including a magistrate, thrown into a 
cellar and kept there for twenty-four hours, simply 
because he did not consider that they had paid him 
proper respect. He was brought before a military 
court and was not only unanimously acquitted, but re- 
ceived the congratulations of the Crown Prince as 
well. Had a similar violation of the law occurred in 
England, he would have been given a prison Bentence 
or condemned to the gallows. 

But for militarism it is different I General Hart- 
mann, for example, says: 

"War is by its very nature the negation of the prin- 
ciples upon which civilization and culture depend and 
of the laws which watch over their development; for 
it replaces them by a state of things which makes force 
and individual power lawful. If by civilization we 
mean the equilibrium of rights and duties which sup- 
port the social structure of the nations and which guar- 
antee their institutions, the term civilized warfare, 
as Bluntschli uses it, is scarcely intelligible, for it in- 
volves an irreconcilable contradiction. 



YCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE " 

"It is necessary to inflict and injure the enemy in 
order to curb and break bis will, and the unquestion- 
able justification of such means lies in their efficacious- 
ness, and in the fact that they enable one to make sure 
of attaining a precisely defined military object." 

Von Blum writes: "Our undertakings should aim 
above all else at increasing the injury done to the 
enemy. 

' ' The first method to be employed is the invasion of 
the enemy provinces, not with any intention of keep- 
ing them, but for the purpose of levying contributions 
of war or merely of laying them waste." 

Hartmann says: "The enemy state must not be 
spared the anguish and woe inherent in warfare. The 
burden must be crushing and must remain so. The 
necessity of imposing it results from the very idea of 
national warfare. . . . When a national war breaks 
out terrorism becomes a principle which is necessary 
from the military standpoint." 

It is certain that in all future wars the nationB will 
be forced to adopt the German methods and to be mer- 
ciless in their turn, for an army which should obey 
international Conventions like those of The Hague 
would be weak indeed when confronted by one which 
had no concern for such things. 

How are we to account for this German doctrine of 
"f rightfulness" which has succeeded in turning the 
whole world against Germany, and in causing civilized 
nations to shudder with horror at the wrongs commit- 
ted! There must be some reason, some motive, be- 
hind the German doctrine of terrorism, for otherwise 
it would be senseless, and everything points to the 
fact that the whole German conduct of the war, in 
every other respect, has been far from that Wl 









GERMAN METHODS OF WARFARE 21 

then, have the Germans hoped to gain by this method 
of warfare ; what have they aimed to achieve by their 
wholesale slaughter of innocent women and children, 
their atrocities upon the men, their bombing of un- 
fortified and unprotected cities, their general savage 
attacks upon the civil populations of the enemy coun- 
tries T Everything points to the fact that these out- 
rages have been well-organized from the first; they 
are not sporadic outbreaks of rage or drunken lust and 
anger on the part of the German soldiery. No; these 
acts have been carried out by order of the German high 
command, — ruthlessly, relentlessly, from the first, and 
evidently with a definite object in view. What is that 
object? 

The obvious reply is that it is intended to terrify and 
rabjngate the civilian population of the various enemy 
countries, to such an extent that they will cry for peace 
— so to terrify them that they will bring pressure to 
bear upon their rulers and leaders to end the war, and 
stop the slaughter of the innocents. But we know that 
the results have been the very opposite of this I The 
Zeppelin raids over England had the effect of awaken- 
ing that country to the reality of the war, and stimu- 
lated recruiting more than anything else possibly 
could have done. Belgium, bled white, not only of her 
men, but also of her strength and resources, still clingB 
desperately to her ancient faith, with a grim determi- 
nation and patriotism which has aroused the admira- 
tion of the whole world, and will live in history so long 
as this earth shall last. The same is true of France, 
Poland, Serbia, and the other invaded districts, which 
are occupied by Germany or her allies. According to 
German psychology, these nations or districts should 
now be crushed, — driven into the arms of Germany by 



22 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

sheer despair and terror; the populace of England 
should have been so prostrated by the Zeppelin raids 
that it would have insisted upon peace, etc. Yet, as we 
know, all these German psychological calculations have 
gone astray; the peoples of the world are today more 
united and more determined than ever to destroy that 
great evil of Prussian militarism; and this is as true of 
the districts subject to "terrorism" as of any other. 
How comes it about, therefore, that the German cal- 
culations were so wrong in this connection — that the 
various nations did not react as they were expected 
to; and that the German leaders could have committed 
so colossal a blander as to have antagonized and em- 
bittered the whole world, in order to carry out a false 
doctrine! 

The answer to that puzzling question is simply this : 
Such methods would have terrorized the Germans 
themselves; therefore they thought they would terror- 
ize other peoples in the same manner. Air raids, the 
slaying of innocents, fire, rapine and murder, would 
have so terrified the inhabitants of German cities that 
they would have acted just as the inhabitants of other 
nations were supposed to act. In short, they employed 
against their enemies the very weapons and methods 
of warfare which would have terrorized themselves. 
And they cannot understand why other nations are not 
similarly terrorized — why it is that they react in a 
different manner. This is due to the fact that the Ger- 
man is incapable of conceiving any one thinking dif- 
ferently than himself. His egotism and vanity is at the 
root of the whole problem, — and will lose him the war. 
If he thinks in a certain way about a given problem 
or fact, every one else must do likewise- — if they do 
not, it is "contrary to rule" — verboten — non-under- 



! 

i 






GERMAN METHODS OF WARFARE 23 

standable! This is the root and core of the whole Ger- 
man psychology and their methods of warfare. That 
they do react in the manner I have indicated is amply 
borne-out by the following account, — recently pub- 
lished, — of the first British reprisal raid, after that 
policy had been adopted, in retaliation for the re- 
peated Zeppelin raids over London. 
This is the account: — 






Germans Terrorized by British Air ] 
People of Mannheim Rushed to Street Half Clothed 

' ' London, Jan. 28. — British airmen who raided 
Mannheim Thursday night caused unparalleled terror 
in that city, according to Geneva despatches to the 
London Daily Express today, quoting several travel- 
lers from Germany. 

"One of these, an injured German, arrived at Basle. 
Despite police orders, he said, terrorstricken people 
rushed out of doors half clothed and gathered in the 
streets. The British raiders scored a direct hit on the 
barracks. 

"After the raid, the travellers declared, crowds as- 
sembled and shouted 'Down with war; give us 
peace!' " 

This is what the London crowds were supposed to 
have done, and did not do ; and the inhabitants of Paris 
likewise ; and the Germans cannot understand why they 
did not! They cannot understand any mind but their 
own. Never has national psychology been more force- 
fully betrayed than in these incidents ; never have the 
temperamental reactions of the various nations been 
better illustrated than in the present conflict. 



24 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAfi 

And, after all, as M. Le Bon has so well said : — 

"The present war is a contest between psychologi- 
cal forces. Irreconcilable ideals are grappling with 
one another. Individual liberty is drawn up against 
collective servitude, personal initiative against the tyr- 
anny of State Socialism, old habits of international 
integrity and respect for treaties against the suprem- 
acy of the cannon. The ideal of the absolutism of 
force, whose triumph Germany is now striving to se- 
cure, is nothing new, for in antiquity it reigned su- 
preme, and the attempt to substitute another for it has 
cost Europe a struggle of two thousand years. The 
victory of the Teutonio theory would carry the na- 
tions back to the most distressful periods of their his- 
tory, back to the eras of violence when the law of the 
strongest was the sole foundation of justice. 

"Men were beginning to forget the dark ages in 
which the weak were pitilessly crushed, the useless 
were brutally cast off, and the ideals of the nations 
were conquest, slaughter, and pillage. But the belief 
that the progress of civilization had once and for all 
been destroyed, and barbarous customs of primitive 
periods, was a dangerous illusion, for new hordes of 
savages, whose ancestral ferocity the centuries have 
not mitigated, even now dream of enslaving the world 
that they may exploit it. 

"The ideas which dominate Germany inspire appre- 
hension because they have come to assume a religions 
form. Like the Arabs of Mohammed's day, the Teu- 
tonic nations are deluded by a dream which makes 
them fancy that they are a superior race, destined first 
to conquer the world and then to regenerate it. . 

* The Psychology of the Great War, pp. 18-19L 












GERMAN METHODS OF WARFARE 25 

It would be easy to give extracts from the writings 
of the German leaders of thought which prove this. 

Here, for instance, are some extracts from a book 
called // / Were King, quoted by Le Correspondent of 
September, 1914: — 

"Since Germany is supreme, above all, she has a 
right to all. Germany aims at the destruction of every- 
thing that can obstruct her expansion by blood and 
iron, England must be destroyed and France must be 
crashed so that we may take her colonies and such 
of her territories as are necessary for our safety. The 
email States of Holland and Belgium must be subjected 
to the lofty guardianship of Germany; Russia will 
easily be conquered, and her frontier districts will 
then become fields for our colonization." 

Bernhardi, in the tenth chapter of his book, says : — 

"It is impossible to lay down a written law able to 
regulate all the differences between nation and nation. 
. . . In every profession and in every nation we find 
an individual conception of honour. 

"... General treaties of arbitration must be par- 
ticularly pernicious to an ambitious and rising nation, 
snch as Germany, which haB not yet reached the high- 
est point in its political and national development. 
. . . Thus all progress which requires change of terri- 
tory would be prevented, and the development of 
strong States would be stopped by the status quo — to 
the advantage of decadent nations." 

Again: — 

"Oh! how we thank God for having chosen our great 
and incomparable Kaiser and bis people to accomplish 
this mighty mission; for has Darwin not said (and no 
doubt he borrowed this idea from our great German 
professors) that only the fittest shall survive? And 



26 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

are the Germans not the fittest in all things? There- 
fore let all of us Germans say: Perish the carrion! 
Only the Germans are noble men!" (Quoted in the 
Temps, June 29, 1915.) 

Or the following: 

"When we have humbled our enemies and confis- 
cated their lands, let tmt any one of the former natives 
of the soil, be he English, French, Italian, American, 
or a man of any other lower race, lift up his voice 
louder than a sigh, and we will dash him to pieces 
against the earth I" 

It is upon such mental pabulum as this that the Ger- 
mans have been fed for the past two generations ; is it 
any wonder that they have grown to believe themselves 
the greatest-of-all, the chosen-of-God, they who shall 
inherit the earth T In fact, this belief — "Deutschland 
liber alios" — has become a fetich with them, to the 
extent, as M. Le Bon points out, of being practically a 
religious dogma. He says: — 

"The faith of the Germans in their Kultur and in 
their mission to dominate the world as a chosen people, 
superior to all those of the past, present, and future, 
is certainly a real source of strength in war; but it is 
also a cause of cruelty, especially in its theological 
or metaphysical form, which tends to give the conflict 
the character of a religious war. The adversary is not 
only an enemy, but an excommunicated heretic as well, 
a miscreant, a blasphemer of sacred Kultur, — guilty 
of high treason against the all-holy. To conquer him 
is not enough; he must be utterly destroyed. The Bel- 
gians committed the daring sacrilege of refusing to let 
the hallowed cohorts of divine Kultur pass through 
their territory. Thus they are guilty of high treason 
against the all-holy, and are justly punished today. 






GERMAN METHODS OF WARFARE 27 

they were chastized of old by the Duke of Alba for a 
similar crime." 

But does this doctrine of ruthless destruction — of 
suppression, tyranny, rape, famine, torture and vivi- 
section — have the effect desired! Does it succeed in 
obliterating the spirit of the ravaged nations, as the 
Germans had hoped? No; it has precisely the opposite 
effect ; and this the Germans cannot understand. Their 
own mindB cannot conceive this, and yet all history 
shows it to be true I As M. Le Bon has so well said, in 
Ms Psychology of the Great War, p. 471:— 

"When Hannibal destroyed the last of the Roman 
armies at Cannae, he thought that he had conquered 
for ever the rival whom his country feared, but he 
had not made the will of Rome to stoop, and it was 
Carthage which finally disappeared from the world 'b 
stage. 

"Germany has not enfeebled the will of any nation 
which she has invaded. All of them would rather die 
than submit. 

"Such energy suffices, for today there is no despot 
so mighty that be can dominate a people which will not 
obey. Napoleon discovered this iu Spain. He took 
her cities and vanquished her armies, but although he 
was the greatest soldier in history he did not subju- 
gate her. 

"The future depends, beyond all else, upon the con- 
tinuance of our will. Conquer or die, but never yield! 
must be the brief watchword of the nations which Ger- 
many would enslave. Neither Nature, nor man, nor 
fate itself, can withstand a strong and steadfast will. 
T have said it over and over again, and I repeat it once 



28 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

And Dr. Crile, in his Mechanistic Conception of War 
and Peace, says: — 

"But again the question rises: Can a people through 
force be given action-patterns against their willt 
Borne never succeeded in Romanizing the world. Rome 
tried to subjugate Belgium; Belgium is here — Rome 
has passed. Napoleon failed; the Moors failed; Eng- 
land never assimilated the Irish nor the Scotch; Rus- 
sia the Poles ; nor the Manchus the Chinese. England 
has learned by a large experience over a considerable 
period of time that subject-races cannot be altered by 
force. Germany has not succeeded in extending her 
doctrine of centralized force into her colonies. Force 
creates action-patterns of opposition and of hatred. 
The conquering enemy can never supplant the influ- 
ence of the hating mother who plants action-patterns 
in the brains of her children when the shades are 
drawn." 






CHAPTER HI 

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIEB 

§i. During Mobilization; In the Cantonments; In the 
Trenches 



A Prater in Khaki 

Lord, my God, accept my prayer of thanks 
That Thou hast placed me humbly in the ranks 
Where I can do my part, all unafraid — 
A simple soldier in Thy great crusade.' 

1 pray Thee, Lord, let others take command; 
Enough for me, a rifle in my hand, 
Thy blood-red banner ever leading me 
Where I can fight for liberty and Thee. 

Give others, God, the glory; mine tbe right 
To stand beside my comrades in the fight, 
To die, if need be, in some foreign land — 
Absolved and solaced by a soldier's hand. 

Lord, my God, pray hearken to my prayer 
And keep me ever humble, keep me where 
The fight is thickest, where, 'midst steel and flame, 
Thy sons give battle, calling on Thy name. 

Robert Garland. 

Of what does the soldier going into hattle thinkf 
During those long, weary weeks of waiting and watch- 
ing in the trenches, what occupies the Boldier's mind* 
What feelings animate him when he attacks — when he 
fires, charges, or runs his bayonet into the quivering 



30 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

flesh of an antagonist t These are questions univers- 
ally asked, but rarely answered! Yet their answers 
would provide us with unique and valuable scientific 
knowledge — would supply a chapter in the psychology 
of the human mind never before studied. 

In our endeavour to answer the questions we have 
just asked, it will be necessary for us to go back to 
a period prior to the opening of hostilities, — while 
peace yet reigned in the world (how long ago it 
seems I), for in this way only can we trace the gradual 
transition which takes place in the man's mind, — trans- 
forming him from a "civilian" to a "soldier" — and 
trace the subtle change from the civilian-consciousness 
to the soldier-con sciouaness. 

In one sense, it may be said that the present war was 
precipitated upon Europe so suddenly that one had 
hardly time to realize it before war was upon the 
stricken land ; half Germany 's plan and power lay in 
striking quickly I Yet, for some days prior to the open- 
ing of hostilities, the tension had been rapidly grow- 
ing between the opposing countries, and it was becom- 
ing more and more evident that a peaceful settlement 
was not likely or possible. This found its response in 
a like tension in the mind of our potential soldier ; and 
this tension grew as events became more exciting, — 
until finally he began "to fizz inside like a bottle of 
champagne," as one soldier expressed it. The order 
for mobilization and the ensuing declaration of war 
came almost as a relief. Emotions had reached the 
"exploding point," and a state of "mental equilibri- 
um" was found to ensue when this tension was re- 
moved, — by certainty, instead of uncertainty, — convic- 
tion rather than rumour. Prom that moment, when 
the civilian donned his soldier's clothes, and cast his 






THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 31 

life into the scales, began a subtle change in his con- 
sciousness; the individual became submerged, to a 
certain extent, in society, in the state ; he ceased to be 
an important element in the community; henceforward 
he was only a cog in the wheel, an infinitesimal part of 
the vast human machine which bad just begun to move. 

Says Dr. George W. Crile, in his Mechanistic Con- 
ception of War and Peace, pp. 10-11: 

"The first effect of the declaration of war was the 
mobilization of the forces within the body of each in- 
dividual in the warring countries. In other words, the 
kinetic syBtem " of each individual was activated. 
There was an increased output of adrenalin, of thy- 
reoiodin, of glycogen; and an increased mobilization 
of the Nissl substance in the brain-cells, from all of 
which there resulted an increased transformation of en- 
ergy in the form of heat, motion, or chemical action. 
The individual moved quickly ; he sang or prayed, bis 
face was flushed ; Mb heart beat faster ; his respiration 
was quickened and there was usually an increase in his 
body temperature. Fight gained possession of the 
final common path ; it dispossessed the routine activa- 
tions of peaceful occupation and human relations. In 
each individual the organs and tissues of his body mo- 
bilized their stores of energy just as each government 
mobilized its resources of men and material." 

And further, in tracing the effects upon the entire 
community, he says (pp. 13-14) : — 

"During the season of mobilization, then, the kinetic 

* The kinetic system is the group of organs in the body by n-eana 
of which man and animals transform the potential energy contained 
in food into muscular action, emotion, body heat; in short, it is the 
system by whose activity life is expressed. It may be compared 
to the motor of an automobile. 



32 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

activation of the people is expressed by marching and 
singing on the part of those going to battle, and by 
silenee or weeping by those left at home. The kinetic 
systems of those who fight and of those who remain 
at home are abnormally active; but, in the first stage 
at least, the activating substances thrown into the blood 
are more completely utilized by the muscular activity 
of the marching and singing husband than by the still 
and sobbing wife. The kinetic systems of the soldiers 
during mobilization are less strained than are the ki- 
netic systems of those left behind. 

"The activation of the soldier in the presence of ac- 
tnal danger as facing an evenly matched enemy is 
precisely the same as is experienced by men in other 
situations in life, — in the first encounter with big game ; 
in being held up by a burglar; in a railway accident; 
or in facing a serious surgical operation; although 
moBt of all the activation of battle resembles the hunt- 
ing of formidable wild beasts. 

"Man in war, as a hunting animal, is elusive, re- 
sourceful, adaptive, brave, and persistent. When 
hunted, man turns hunter himself, and like wolves men 
hunt in packs. Therefore when men are mutually 
hunting each other their brains are intensely activated 
to this end, and all other relations of life are dispos- 



It must be remembered that man, en masse, is i 
very different being from man individual. I have said 
above that the soldier, after he enters the army, finds 
himself "only a cog in the wheel, an infinitesimal part 
of the vast human machine which has just begun to 
move." That being so, his individual mind or con- 
Bciousness gradually gives way to a collective con- 






THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 33 

sciousness — to the "psychology of the crowd"— a very 
different thing, as we must now show. 

Gustav Le Bon, in his classical work on The Crowd; 
A Study of the Popular Mind, says: — 

"The moat striking peculiarity presented by a psy- 
chological crowd is the following: Whoever be the in- 
dividuals that compose it, however like or unlike be 
their mode of life, their occupations, their character, 
or their intelligence, the fact that they have been trans- 
formed into a crowd puts them in possession of a sort 
of collective mind which makes them feel, think, and 
act in a manner quite different from that in which each 
individual of them would think, feel and act were he in 
a state of isolation. There are certain ideas and feel- 
ings which do not come into being, or do not transform 
themselves into acts except in the case of individuals 
forming a crowd. The psychological crowd is a provi- 
sional being formed of heterogeneous elements, which 
for a moment are combined, exactly as the cells which 
constitute a living body form by their reunion a new 
being which displays characteristics very different 
from those possessed by each of the cells singly. . . . 

"In the case of everything that belongs to the realm 
of sentiment — religion, politics, morality, the affec- 
tions and antipathies, etc. — the most eminent men sel- 
dom surpass the standard of the most ordinary indi- 
viduals. From the intellectual point-of-view an abyss 
may exist between a great mathematician and his boot- 
maker, but from the point-of-view of character the dif- 
ference is most often slight or non-existent. 

"It is precisely theBe general qualities of character, 
governed by forces of which we are unconscious, and 
possessed by the majority of the normal individuals 
of a race in much the same degree — it is precisely these 



34 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

qualities, I say, that in crowds become common prop- 
erty. In the collective mind, the individual aptitudes 
of the individuals, and in consequence their individual- 
ity, are weakened. The heterogeneous is swamped by 
the homogeneous, and the unconscious qualities obtain 
the upper hand. . . . 

"We see, then, that the disappearance of the con- 
scious personality, the predominance of the uncon- 
scious personality, the turning by means of suggestion 
and contagion of feelings and ideas in an identical di- 
rection, the tendency to immediately transform the 
suggested ideas into acts; these, we see, are the prin- 
cipal characteristics of the individual forming part of 
a crowd. He is no longer himself, but has become an 
automaton who has ceased to be guided by his 
will . . ." (pp. 29-36). 

The mentality of men in crowds is absolutely unlike 
that which they possess when isolated, for an assem- 
blage of men is as different from the individuals of 
whom it is made-np as is any living being from its 
component cells. 

Reason has very little influence upon the collective 
mind, which is governed by collective logic, a form 
strictly peculiar to it. Intellectually collective man 
always appears inferior to individual man, but may 
be superior to him in the domain of the feelings; for 
although certain feelings, like gratitude, for instance, 
are unknown to the crowd, it possesses others, such 
as altruism, devotion to the general welfare, and even 
heroism, which are far more difficult to put in practice. 
The powers of the average man are increased by join- 
ing a collectivity, while those of the superior man are 
curtailed. 

The emotions of the crowd are both intense and 



me 

l.'K 



THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 35 

fickle, thus allowing it to change quickly from adora- 
tion to hatred, and as it is lacking in the sense of prac- 
tical possibilities, hope is its principal nourishment. 
The mysticism with which it is impregnated induces it 
to attribute magic powers to the leader who beguiles 
it, and to the brief formulas which synthesize its de- 
sires. Mental contagion operates upon isolated indi- 
viduals as well as upon collectivities, but as the latter 
do not reason it plays the leading part among them. 

The crowd is likewise very receptive of illusions, 
which acquire the force of truths from the mere fact of 
becoming collective. The present war furnishes nu- 
merous examples of this law. 

Collective opinion has a great deaJ of strength, which 

seldom spontaneous, however, for the crowd is really 

amorphous organism that is incapable of action un- 
less it has a leader, who influences it by affirmation, 
repetition, prestige, and contagion, all of them meth- 
ods of persuasion peculiar to effective logic. 

There must always be a leader to create and direct 
public opinion, even in the case of national conflicts, 
though this leader need not be a man who harangues 
the crowd, for his part may be played by beliefs or 
inherited feelings which certain circumstances have 
violently inflamed. But the real starting-point of pop- 
ular opinion is invariably the leader or the great event 
which acts as his substitute. 

It is into this psychological maelstrom that the sol- 
dier is plunged; and in it he soon loses his original in- 
dividual "self" to a very great extent. Inasmuch as 
the man is psychologically the result, very largely, of 
his reactions to his environment, and its stimuli, it is 
only natural that this should be so. When he becomes 

cog in the "war machine," he becomes a part o/it, as 



36 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

we have said; he constitutes a part of the army, and 
is no longer "himself." As one soldier expressed it, 
writing of his own inner impressions, and his study of 
his companions in arms: — 

"By some astounding miracle, when the reservist 
puts on his uniform his state of mind suddenly changeB, 
his feeling of individuality weakens, and he acquires 
the new sense of the collective life. He is no longer 
a grocer, a blacksmith, or a farmer, but a part of the 
machine. His personal ideas disappear and some mys- 
terious force impels him to think and act like all the 
others. If he hears people around him saying, 'The 
enemy is in a bad way, we'll finish him at a bite,' he 
is sure that his adversary is a weak, ridiculous crea- 
ture, altogether to be despised; but if his neighbour 
tells him the awful secret, 'We are betrayed,' he is 
equally certain that all his officers sold him to the foe. 

"If there comes a shout of 'Every man for himself,' 
when our soldier is feeling the strong emotions of the 
battlefield, all his sensible ideas are swept clean out 
of him, and he takes to his heels like a madman, with- 
out a moment's thought and without paying the slight- 
est attention whether the danger is real or not." 

We thus see the change which has come over the 
mind of the soldier, during even the first days of his 
mobilization and training. He has begun to assume a 
new character, to be a new being. With his altered 
environment, with his change of clothing, and the whole 
routine of his daily life, he gradually loses his former 
self, and becomes a new man. From the civilian he has 
been transformed, in short, into a soldier. 

From that moment, our soldier enters upon a new 
life. Little by little, as we shall see, the world he has 
left fades from his view, and even from his memory. 







THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 37 

The past becomes blurred and unreal. The present — 
the vital present — assumes the place of unique impor- 
tance. The simple and strict life, the monotony of re- 
peated acts done over and over again, the discipline, 
the constant straining of the senses, the clouding of 
the finer sensibilities, the continued fight for life, the 
lack of all truly intellectual stimulation or companion- 
ship, the lack of any possibility of initiative or indi- 
vidual action — so frequent and important in our daily 
lives — all tend to reduce the mental activities to their 
lowest possible level, and induce a state of simple 
childishness and even vacuity which is strongly in con- 
trast to the state of the same man's mind under nor- 
mal, civil conditions. 

Man's hereditary personality is deep-rooted and 
deep-seated. But he is greatly influenced and changed 
by exterior conditions and circumstances. His per- 
sonality may, in fact, be said to be the result of the 
interplay between his exterior environment and his 
interior being. As these external circumstances alter, 
so the man is found to alter also — quickly or gradually, 
according to the mental make-up of the individual sol- 
dier. But he is changed under all circumstances. He 
must be! And, in the case of the common soldier, this 
ohange is profound. No environmental change in his 
life has ever been so vast and so radical as this. Army 
manoeuvres, which approached it the most nearly, were 
but feeble in comparison, — and brief rather than pro- 
tracted. Nothing can disturb the existing environ- 
ment as war does. For here the surrounding country 
is destitute, desolate, burned; the railways are torn 
up; buildings are razed, crops destroyed, and every 
semblance of order and civilization gone. Nothing 
■hort of actual war can possibly imitate this, even 



38 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

faintly. It. is a different world; and this in turn cre- 
ates a different mental world in the being dwelling 
within such an altered zone. 

All the letters received from the soldiers at the 
Front indicate how quickly they become accustomed 
to their new lives. The following shows the part which 
is played by habit, as well as the ease with which the 
soldier adapts himself to conditions of strife that are 
quite contrary to his atavistic mentality: — 

"Nothing dismays me now; no matter how the 
shells and bullets may whistle I do not lose my com- 
posure as I did in the beginning; and it is the same 
with all of us. When the Drat battles took place we en- 
gaged too soon; for the bayonet charge was all we 
thought of, and by making too much haste we got our- 
selves Bhot. But now we crawl on our stomachs when 
wo attack and wo use the tiniest clod of earth as cover, 
so thai wo fire upon the Germans as we like, and some- 
times they do not even know where the shots come 
from. The last time we went into action we had an al- 
most untenable position, and had to repel flank and 
frontal attacks at the same time; and not one of us 
flinched." 

Stability of personality is thus Been to depend solely 
upon permanence of environment, for as soon as a 
change takes place in the latter, the equilibria of the 
''Icini'tiU which form an individual's mental life are 
overthrown, with the result that new equilibria are 
established and he gains a new personality. 

Such transformations of personality constitute a 
phttomeaoa which often occurs during revolntionary 
periods, u baa been pointed out, and which the present 
wnr permits us to observe without difficulty. 

It is impossible to foresee the nature and hence the 






THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 39 

behaviour of a personality thus hastily constructed. 
The men who lived under the Terror have left ua many 
examples of the fact that the mildest individual may 
become eager to shed blood and, even without going 
so far afield, we may assert that no one could have 
predicted either the barbarity of the German intellec- 
tuals in the present war or the good qualities of which 
the French have given proof. 

Such changes of personality have been noticed daily 
during the war, and I shall have occasion to mention 
several of them which are very striking; hut for the 
present I shall confine myself to a quotation from the 
remarks made by Rudyard Kipling, after be had paid 
a visit to the Front: — 

"You know, when supreme trial overtakes an ac- 
quaintance whom till then we conceived we knew, how 
the man's nature sometimes changes past knowledge 
or belief. He who was altogether such an one as our- 
selves goes forward simply, even lightly, to heights 
we thought unattainable. Though he is the very same 
comrade that lived our small life with us, yet in all 
things he has become great. So it iB with France to- 
day. She has discovered the measure of her soul." 

Patriotism, the heritage of the dead, is one of those 
supreme forces which are created by long ancestral 
accumulations, and whose strength is revealed at criti- 
cal moments. It was patriotism which rallied to its 
banner on the very day war was declared the Pacifists, 
Syndicalists, Socialists, and others who belonged to 
parties that were apparently most refractory to its 
influence; nor could their unanimous support have 
lit'i/n won had patriotism not been an unconscious force 
whose impetus swept every argument aside. 

M. Sabatier, in his Frenchman's Thoughts on the 



40 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

War, thus beautifully describes his impressions on the 
day of mobilization: — 

' ' The two churches of the village were almost empty ; 
and, what was better, so were the cabarets. The great 
day of mobilization for our district was Monday, the 
3rd of August. On this Sunday there were a few iso- 
lated departures, but no one knew of them, and I did 
not see them. On the following day I was cowardly. 
I should have liked to return to the village, to press 
the departing soldiers to my heart. My courage failed 
me. Still obsessed by the memory of 1870, I feared, 
not scenes of emotion, but a display of distressing pa- 
triotism, cries of hatred, stupid boasts and threats, 
drinking Bongs alternating with and profaning our na- 
tional anthems. I climbed a neighbouring hill whence 
with a pair of binoculars one can plainly see what is 
happening on a number of the more important high- 
ways of the district. It was shortly after three o'clock 
that I first noticed, on the further side of a deep, nar- 
row valley, something like a long, dark ribbon which 
seemed to move. 

"Then suddenly the Marseillaise burst forth, rever- 
berated by all the echoes of the mountain, but there 
was something reserved and controlled about it; it 
had almost the accent of a psalm. Overcome by in- 
tense feeling, standing alone up there on the creBt of 
the hill, I joined from afar in the Bong of our sol- 
diers who were leaving for the front, until the moment 
when the turn of the road hid them from my sight. 

"The sun shone out, and on all the other highways 
other interminable processions were descending to- 
wards the railway-Btations with the same order, with 
the slow heavy pace of our peasants when they Bet out 
for the days of sowing. And the dear fellows were in- 



THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 41 

deed setting forth to sow — to sow the beat blood of 
France. ..." 

Ab one leaves the life of the city, and approaches the 
front, one passes through two spheres or "zones." 
The foremoBt is the "war-zone," which gradually 
shades off into the "civil zone," as the rear of the first 
zone is approached. Insensibly they shade off into one 
another. When a wounded soldier leaves the firing- 
line and is transported to the rear, he passes from 
the war-zone to the civil-zone, and notices the differ- 
ence at once. At the same time, he carries the atmos- 
phere of the former zone with him (if newly arrived), 
and particularly is this the case if he is badly wounded, 
and has had no opportunity of observing the gradual 
stages of transition through which he has passed. 
One can see from this, then, the importance of obtain- 
ing interviews with soldiers at once, upon their return 
from the front, — for they would be apt, otherwise, to 
begin to change immediately in their viewpoints, on 
again emerging into normal life, in the civil zone of 
activities. 

As the soldier leaves the civil zone, on the contrary, 
and passes to the front, everything becomes altered 
for him. He notices the altered conditions of the coun- 
try. Women and children become more and more 
scarce, and finally disappear altogether. Civil life 
vanishes; only military life is anywhere encountered. 
Every one he meets thinks as he does, about the same 
subjects, in the same way ; every one is dressed alike ; 
every one's thought runs in the same narrow groove. 
There is no longer the clash of opinion, the interchange 
of rival thoughts. Gradually, imperceptibly, the im- 
s and thoughts of ordinary civil life begin to fade; 



42 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

thoughts of home, wife, friends, even, begin to grow 
dim and recede in the memory. The present, the vital 
present, occupies and grips the mind. Intellect gives 
way to sense impressions. The mind of the civilian 
has given place to that of the combatant. Henceforth, 
we must study the mind of the soldier as a thing apart, 
— as separate and distinct from that of any other hu- 
man being. He both thinks and acts differently from 
any other man on the face of the earth. 

In studying the psychology of the soldier, however, 
we are approaching a big problem; and in order to 
study it thoroughly and systematically, we must di- 
vide-up our subject into three or four sub-headings. 
We shall first of all see how the mind of the soldier 
"works" in the camps, or so-called "Cantonments"; 
then we shall consider the soldier in the general 
trenches; then in the isolated trenches; and finally we 
shall come to the mind of the soldier who is actually 
attacking, and see what is in his mind, under these al- 
tered circumstances and conditions. 

1. In the Cantonment. — The sojourn in the camp or 
cantonment varies considerably, in point of time, and 
the character of the soldier's abode varies proportion- 
ately. In France, those which were occupied but a 
brief time were usually built of branches and twigs; 
those occupied for considerable periods ware quite 
elaborate, and supplied with drains, electric lights and 
numerous contrivances for the comfort of the occu- 
pants. In these cantonments a unique and intense so- 
cial life exists. They are probably the most ideally 
co-operative communities in the world. Each man 
gives and does what he can for the good of all. The 
bricklayer builds; the pipe-maker makes pipes {from 









THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 43 

the enemy's empty cartridge cases, very often!); the 
electrician, the plumber, the carpenter— «very trade 
and profession, in fact, finds opportunity to contribute 
to the common cause and common comfort. Flower- 
pots are made from exploded shells; pictures are paint- 
ed by the artist; even journals are edited and printed 
by the literary members of the community. The can- 
tonment is, in fact, a veritable hive of industrial, man- 
ual activity. There is, moreover, in all that is done, 
an element of joy, of fun, which is lacking at ordinary 
times. Each man contributes what he can, from what 
he knows. Generals and privates alike contribute to 
the general fund or "pool." There is a state of per- 
petual animation — and yet it is limited animation, 
strictly circumscribed, admitting of no great change, 
rarely stepping beyond certain well-defined limits. 
The work being nearly all manual, the body begins to 
assume a prominent, even predominant place in the 
thoughts, — while the mind assumes a second-rate im- 
portance. The great regularity and discipline, also, 
tend to make the mind simple and rhythmical ; its even 
flow is disturbed only by the arrival of some general or 
high official, for whom special preparations are neces- 
sary. This alone breaks the monotony, and places the 
men in touch,— for a few moments, as it were, — with 
the outside world. But on their departure, the same 
monotonous, rigid, rhythmic life begins anew. 

All this tends to make the mtud simple, primitive, 
almost vacuous. Original thinking is gradually oblit- 
erated, all the thinking is done by the officers. The 
soldiiTs have only to obey orders! They gradually 
fall into this habit of letting others do their thinking 
for them, and merely follow instructions. Terrible as 

is picture may appear to the reader, it nevertheless 



44 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAH 

has its bright side, as we shall presently see; and it 
may be said that one of the great lessons which the 
present war has taught us is this: that too great initi- 
ative in a soldier is not to be desired. Only on certain 
occasions is this beneficial; at oilier times, simple obe- 
dience will serve the soldier best. 

/( ts a psychological fact of great importance and 
significance, Oiat those at the front have the greatest 
confidence. The nearer the front we penetrate, the 
greater this feeling of confidence becomes. Theae men 
know that they can resist the attack of the enemy; they 
have done so before, and they feel that they can do 
so again. As one approaches the rear, this feeling of 
confidence wanes, until we reach its antithesis in the 
civil zone, where the feeling of personal fearlessness 
and confidence is almost entirely lacking. It is pre- 
cisely analogous to the prize-fighter, trained for the 
ring. He himself is supremely confident of the result 
of the contest. Only those who have never fought have 
this feeling of fear, of lack of confidence. 

Physical training gives confidence to a man. His 
con fi<l ''nee in himself increases in precise ratio to his 
physical condition. And this is one of the great rea- 
sons why a prolonged system of military training is 
necessary,— to fit the modern soldier for war. Its ef- 
fects are mental and moral no less than physical and 
physiological. Superbly fit, he feels that nothing can 
withstand him, as he marches off to war. At the same 
time, this fact should nlso show us the utter unreason- 
ableness of depending upon a rapidly raised volunteer 
force to meet veterans trained in war. No matter how 
bravely tliey might fight, even in superior numbers, 
they would be bound to go down in defeat before sea- 
soned veterans, whose training and experience had 






THE PSYCHOLOGY OP THE SOLDIER 45 

caused them to have a profound confidence in their own 
prowess, — no less than a knowledge of the game of war. 
Confidence ia a state of mind, a matter of thought. 
Constancy is a state of will, a matter of action. 

"Constancy, firmness of mind (which the ancients, 
remember, placed in the first ranks of the virtues), 
holds fast to its purpose, whatever may befall; per- 
severes in its design or its duty; never flinches on the 
field of battle; never fails in the tasks of civil life, and 
throws through all its actions the continuous woof of 
unchanging will, which no accident has power to 



an urn 

break. 

"Of 



Of this virtue France has afforded many examples, 
and examples of very different kinds. 

"The crowds on the day of mobilization behaved 
magnificently; for a crowd may behave well in a public 
plaoe, just as a battalion may behave well in a fighting 
line. In that solemn moment we saw the storm of the 
summons pass over them, yet not a cry was heard, 
not a head was bowed; only in some a quiver of the 
eyelids, as when the dust rides upon the wind. The 
multitude hastened to the railway stations, but there 
were no collisions, no complaints; it was a spectacle 
of collective dignity which taught me more and moved 
me more than all the books written upon the past and 
all the scenes of history. 

"A masterpiece of constancy was the attitude of the 
soldier who, retreating from the bank of the Arden- 
naise river to Vitry-le-Francois, defeated on the first 
day, and then twice victorious, yet retiring in order, 
finally standing fast, to fall wounded, but still victori- 
ous, and this time for good. I am speaking of a sol- 
der who told me the whole story; a soldier who has 



46 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAE 

a name, but who is liko a brother to hundreds of thou- 
sands of other Boldiers. 

"Constancy, again, explains the resignation with 
which our armies have accepted the life of the trenches. 
It was not congenial to the French soldier, an open-air 
soldier, as was his Gaulish ancestor. But he adopted 
it, sadly at first, then almost gaily, and almost bravely. 
And I am not sure whether Valerius Maximus has not 
cited some Btory of this kind as an example of military 
constancy. 

"It ib a virtue of the same order that has been ex- 
hibited by so many of our friends in town and country. 
I should have liked to name them, for they were our 
masters in the matter of moral duty, and they have 
succeeded in lighting-up these long months of mourn- 
ing by the beauty of their actions. This peasant has 
just harvested, without a word of lamentation, the field 
which was sown by his dead son. This mother, on re- 
ceiving the news that her son was killed, went forth to 
console the wounded who yet lived. This schoolmaster 
in a bombarded city quietly retired, during the menace 
of the shells, to a cellar turned into a schoolroom, 
where he was joined by a flock of still joyous children. 
This famouB professor lost the last son remaining to 
him, and on receiving the telegram he slowly took his 
chair to dictate to his pupils the task of the day. And 
we might cite a thousand facts of the kind." 

To return, however, to our Cantonment. Limited as 
the men are in their mental horizon, the physical ener- 
gies, doubled by their healthy outdoor life and simple 
food, must find vent for their expression. Constant 
drill, marching and exercising work off part of it; 
manual work of various kinds also affords an outlet; 






tioi 
tin* 

; 



THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 47 

but the pent-up energies most find still other channels, 
and in the enforced absence of sexual life or gratifica- 
tion, this finds its outlet in playfulness,— in gossip, jok- 

ig, horseplay, pleasantry, gaiety, practical jokes, or at 

ies in fighting, much as school boys would fight among 
themselves. It forms an outlet for their exuberant en- 
ergies; there is no deep-seated hatred for the rival. 
Fortunately, however, these fights are comparatively 
rare; and the latent energy generally finds a more use- 
ful and less dangerous channel for its expenditure. 

As the anonymous author of that entertaining little 
book, Conscript 2989, tells ns : — 

"... None of us has grown up. We are all like 
big boys, and we spend with no thought of the morrow. 
. . . We mill around with the crowd, and soon are 
pushed against a counter. Something attracts our eye. 
We feel a desire to possess it. We buy it, and start 
milling about the room again until presently we are 
near the door. Then we step out into the night again 
and join one of the groups of loiterers or sit about on 
boxes and piles of lumber, where we devour our pur- 
chase, if it happens to be in the line of crackers (as is 
usually the case), or admire it, if it happens to be a 
pocket flash-lamp, a fountain pen or something else that 
we really never have had any use for. . . ." 

In these cantonments, many humorous circulars are 
printed and even weekly journals are issued. They are 
typical of the mind of the soldier, and represent the 
collective soul of the combatants. The French par- 
ticularly have excelled in this. For example, they have 
issued a periodical, in the Champagne, entitled Le 
Poilu, which defines itself as "A journal, humorous, 
literary, and artistic, of the life of the troglodytes ; to 

ipear when and where it can." It contains impres- 






48 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

sions of the war, messages from home, news and bulle- 
tins, Rabelaisian Bonnets and other material. An- 
other, entitled La Gazette des Tranchees (issued in 
the Argonne), "an organ founded to maintain the 
spirit of mirth in France," gives scraps of Parisian 
life, of the Boulevards, etc., in the character of a gen- 
eral "Revue." Another, L'Echo des Marmites, has a 
sub-title, "The only Daily — No connection with Ber- 
lin!" Still another, Le Petit Voisognard, gay and 
sprightly in tone, contains a variety of humorous ma- 
terial. The American Army has already begun its own 
papers, along similar lines. In addition to these peri- 
odicals, issued from the camps and trenches, the sol- 
diers have organized concerts, theatricals, "revues," 
and many other formB of entertainment, to which each 
contributes something (often excellent talent) and 
printed programmes are issued for the most ambitious 
of these. 

The soldiers have also invented or coined a number 
of new words and phrases of their own, so that they 
now have a regular "jargon," — all but unintelligible 
to the uninitiated. Thus, the French have introduced 
such words as "gring," "pinard," etc.; while the Eng- 
lish soldier speaks of "Black Marias," "Jack John- 
sons," of being "spiffed," "put in a bag," etc.; aud 
doubtless the Italian and Russian soldiers have done 
much the same thing. Every trade or profession has 
coined such words, which the outsider can hardly be 
expected to know. 

While the foregoing may seem to indicate a great 
fund of surface gaiety among the soldiers (and indeed 
there is a good deal, at times), there is, nevertheless, 
a subdued tension and gravity, which runs as an under- 
current through their entire life. Especially is this 









THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 49 

true of the French soldiers. They no longer gather 
'round the camp fires and tell stories as they did in 
the war of 1870. Then, long romances in serial form 
were narrated by a good story-teller. Now, on the 
contrary, all this surface pleasantry seems to find ex- 
pression in writing, — in the periodicals which are cir- 
culated in the cantonments and trenches. Now, when 
the soldiers talk together, it is usually of passing 
events, simple remarks and pleasantries, originating 
on the surface, and rarely or never do these conver- 
sations touch upon "deep" topics— religious, domestic, 
emotional, etc. One might be tempted to imagine that, 
under the existing circumstances, with death so near, 
men's minds would seem to turn naturally to the more 
serious phases of life; they do not seem to. The 
deeply intellectual life seems dormant, entranced, Id 
abeyance. The monotony of the daily occupation has 
temporarily killed it. Sensory ami physical interests 
have usurped its place. Yet this fact, too, should be 
noted. Very rarely is the language of the men ob- 
scene. It is rather trivial and egoistic. It seems to 
revolve around each man's own needs — his own feel- 
ings and personal safety. Curiously enough, too, but 
little is said about the war en bloc in these canton- 
ments. The soldiers are occupied with their own par- 
ticular sphere of activity and interests. Broader think- 
ing seems to be left to the superior officers. 

Contrary to what one would expect, all the men who 
have passed a considerable period of time in the can- 
tonments assert that time seems to pass quickly there 
— in spite of the extreme monotony of the life. It is 
rarely found to ' ' drag. ' ' Probably this is on account 
of the monotony of the impressions. A cat or a dog 
lot seem to get "bored" with the length of his 



50 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

day, — no matter how little he may be busied with life. 
At such times, men seem to become like these ani- 
mals — content to live without thinking, with empty 
mindB, living on the impressions of the senses. They 
do not suffer mentally; only physically. They go to 
services or mass regularly, even if they are not at all 
religious, and not in the habit of doing so at home. 
They display, in short, an extreme docility and lack 
of personal criticism. They feel sad when the dead are 
brought in ; but feel a curiously detached attitude to- 
wards them, and look upon this more as a historical 
event than as a personal affair, in which they too may 
be destined soon to play the principal role. Each sol- 
dier has seen but a small and limited portion of the 
field of battle, it must be remembered, and for this 
reason his consciousness is contracted. In nearly all 
cases this carious state of abstraction or absent-mind- 
edness is noticed among men living in the trenches or 
cantonments. 

In these camps, the soldiers often tend to chafe un- 
der the strict discipline enforced, but as soon as the 
advance begins, these same men instinctively feel its 
necessity and fall into line readily. With the advance, 
they adapt themselves at once to war. Even the older 
men, who — one would think — might be tempted to re- 
bel at the leadership of far younger men than them- 
selves, fail to experience this feeling in the least. In- 
stinctively, the soldier realizes the all- importance of 
instruction and discipline. Of coarse, this only holds 
good in those cases where the officers treat the men 
fairly and justly, and are honoured and beloved by 
them. When a case of unjust provocation arises, in- 
dignation is at once shown. Fortunately, however, 
such cases are few in the Allied armies. 






THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIEE 51 



We i 



; that the mind of 






m-up, then, by saying t 

oldier, in the cantonments, undergoes a 
temporary degeneration, due to the fact that it acta 
in vacancy, instead of attaching itself to things; the mo- 
notony of the stimuli acta in a hypnotic manner, caus- 
ing the mind to become simple and vacuous. The sen- 
timents undergo the same oscillations as the thoughts. 
Soldiers become like children; they have frequent dis- 
putes, which they refer to their officers for settlement. 
The officer who can settle such disputes justly and sat- 
isfactorily to both disputants is adored by his men. 
While these rules do not, of course, apply to all men 
alike, it may be said confidently that they represent 
accurately the mind of the average soldier in the can- 
tonment, during periods of relative inaction. We must 
now study the psychology of the soldier in the trenches 
— both the inter-communicating and the isolated 
trenches. 'This may be said to be a sort of intermedi- 
ate step between the camp, and the soldier in actual 
combat. 

2. In the Trenches. — The movement and noise in 
the advanced trenches is terrific and incessant. The 
whistle of bullets, the roar of bursting shells, etc., im- 
pinge upon the brain incessantly, — giving it no rest or 
peace. The mind is in a constant state of excitement. 
The soldier is continually on the lookout for the enemy. 
There may be momentary pangs of fear or uncertainty, 
but these are dispelled by the feeling of proximity of 
comrades, and in proportion to the familiarity of the 
environment. Here, as ever, "familiarity breeds con- 
tempt." The soldiers soon become indifferent to the 
scream of shells and the "whirr" of bullets — as much 
as they do to the Bight of blood or of dead men being 



52 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

brought in on stretchers. When the moment arrives 
for the men to advance into the trenches, — to the firing- 
line,-— authority automatically asserts itself. Silence 
and discipline are at once observed and are continually 
maintained. The soldiers themselves feel the neces- 
sity for this. As death becomes nearer and more real, 
the feeling of self-preservation becomes stronger and 
stronger; the soldier feels that his discipline is one of 
the surest means of escaping death. Instinctively this 
is observed. Thus, on one occasion, a column waa 
marching down an unfrequented lane, when a shell ex- 
ploded quite close to it. The column paused for an 
instant, as if in surprise, then pushed forward again in 
perfect rhythm and order, "with the gleam of hate on 
their faces. ' ' The individual had vanished — swal- 
lowed up in the group. Personal psychology had given 
way to the psychology of the crowd — individual to col- 
lective consciousness. 

As to the light which may be thrown upon the psy- 
chology of fear, in the present war, there is fortunately 
little to say. Men assert that they rarely experience 
this feeling — least of all while on the firing line. Some- 
times they run into extreme danger at night, and at 
dawn are astonished at having escaped almost certain 
death. Then, sometimes, a shiver of reminiscent ap- 
prehension runs through them! But nearly every sol- 
dier feels a sort of inner conviction that he will not be 
killed — that he will escape, by some miraculous good 
fortune I Some, it is true, do not experience this feel- 
ing ; but it is safe to say that the majority do experi- 
ence it. 

The first thing which the men do, on occupying new 
advanced trenches, is to take mental and moral pos- 
session of them, no less than physical possession. Al- 







THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 53 

most invariably, they criticise the state of the trenches 
they occupy, and pass uncomplimentary remarks about 
their former owners, who had left them in Buch a con- 
dition [ (It reminds one of moving into a new house !) 
On settling in the trench, each soldier places his knap- 
Back in a small cut-out hole in front of him, plaees hia 
rifle and cartridges ready to hand, assures himself that 
the parapet directly in front of him is safe and in good 
condition, places boards or pieces of wood at conven- 
ient angles, so that he may stand upon them (to keep 
his feet dry), and takes a general view of the situa- 
tion, so as to be thoroughly familiar with his surround- 
ings. Of course, m this reconnaissance, he cannot look 
over the top of the trenches, or peep at the enemy; 
if he did he would be shot instantly for his pains by the 
"snipers" in the opposing trenches. Consequently, a 
temporary fear of the unknown sets in, which is dis- 
pelled as soon as he becomes oriented to his surronnd- 
ings, and familiar with the general "lay out" of hia 
trenches. As time passes, and he still cannot see or 
hear the enemy (whom he knows, nevertheless, to be 
so near), an overpowering curiosity takes possession 
of him. He wishes to look— to have "just a peep" — 
at the opposing earthworks. Some are foolhardy 
enough to do this, contrary to the strict commandB of 
the officers, — and many a man has been killed in just 
this way. Others content themselves with testing the 
proximity of the enemy by displaying caps, helmets, 
etc., on the end of bayonets, over the edge of the 
trenches, — -and usually seeing a hole Bhot in them in- 
stantly! Still others endeavour to observe the enemy- 
positions by the aid of "treneh-periscopes," but these 
arc generally shattered by the enemy rifle fire. (Their 
i well-placed snipers are, of course, doing the same 



54 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAE 

thing in the case of the enemy.) But the majority of 
the men try to conquer this all-pervading curiosity. 
They either resist the temptation until it is their turn 
to observe from the observation-post; or, failing this, 
they question others likely to know, — the wounded, the 
doctors, the incoming snipers, — and display, as one 
soldier expressed it, "more curiosity than a woman" 
as to the movements and disposition of the enemy. In 
these trenches, silence is often the rule; the men are 
not allowed to talk; but this rule is not always obeyed. 
Constant alertness is essential. If the men talk, it is 
usually about immediate and relatively inconsequen- 
tial things — the country, the weather, a late adven- 
ture, etc. As one sergeant said, speaking of his sol- 
diers: "Nothing interests them; they are absorbed 
in every little thing which comes up." They live, in 
short, in the senses, — which are trained to be constant- 
ly ou the alert. If a gun is fired, the soldiers follow the 
course of the shell and observe the volume of smoke it 
throws up ; if an aeroplane is seen, its flight is watched 
with bated breath ; the men count the number of bombs 
it drops ; the number of shrapnel-shells bursting round 
it, etc This is repeated, no matter how many times 
a day the same event takes place. The men even re- 
peat the same words, make the same gestures, etc., on 
each occasion, without knowing that they do so. They 
display no signs of uneasinesB ; on the contrary, a feel- 
ing of absolute assurance seems to pervade the 
trenches. If the soldier is given food and a plentiful 
supply of tobacco, he gives himself up to the sensuous 
life completely, and henceforth ceases to be "a think- 
ing animal." 

It is the officer upon whom falls the responsibility 
for his men; he it is who must do the thinking for the 









THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 55 

entire army. The men look to him for everything. 
The importance of having trained and ttspetiemeed 
officers is thus very apparent — men whose intellect is 
of high order, and whose mental and moral forces are 
at their highest point of efficiency at the opening of 
hostilities. 

Occasionally, in slack times, the men engage in some 
occupation, to keep themselves employed; but these 
are always manual occupations, easily performed with 
the hands. Conversation becomes less and less fre- 
quent as the days go by; and when it does occur, it is 
always about simple things. Living, as he does, in a 
new world, in constant danger of immediate death, 
the soldier feels detaehed from other men, from the 
world, and even from his own family. He begins to 
feel that, after all, he is the important and essential 
factor in the community; that the world centres about 
him and observes his actionB. This feeling is not con- 
sciously egotistical; the soldier merely feels himself 
to be the centre of interest. Each man Uvea only for 
himself, in his inner thoaghts, — his own interests, as 
distinct from those of others. He feels no interests in 
his past work or profession or its future possibilities. 
He simply cannot think of it; he now lives in a differ- 
ent world entirely. Letters from home, and journals, 
as they arrive, afford some slight mental stir and com- 
motion, for a time; but even these seem to leave no 
durable trace upon the mind, and their images and 
memories are soon obliterated. Thus, a young cor- 
poral, in trying to analyze his impressions at the time, 
said: 

"I am not sure that I thought of my family par- 
ticularly, even when writing home! There seemed 



56 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

Bomehow to be a veil between us, abutting off all com- 
munion of feeling and interest." 

Tbe curious form of fatalism which seema to take 
possession of the soldiers at the front is well illus- 
trated by tbe following letter from Lieutenant New- 
hall, of the American Expeditionary Army in France, 
written to his father, and published by him in the Min- 
neapolis Tribune. He says in part : — 

"Don't he unhappy, even if something happens to 
me. The Japanese point of view always appealed to 
me. They are proud when one of their relatives is 
lost in a patriotic struggle, and put on festival clothes 
instead of going into mourning. I was pleased to see 
it suggested in the Chicago Tribune that we adopt the 
custom of wearing a badge, such as a star, instead of 
black. 

"When we think of the bigness of the work at hand 
— and it is more than merely defeating Germany — any 
man can feel that even being killed is a small price to 
pay for having an active part in this great step for- 
ward, which the world is taking. 

"It is the welding together of the liberty -loving 
peoples into a great co-operating society — which is to 
be the triumph that will follow an Allied victory. 

"The great weakness of onr democracies has been 
that this liberty of which they were so boastful was a 
mere individualism which allowed every man to com- 
pete unscrupulously with all his neighbours. Now in 
the face of this German menace we are trying to learn 
how to curtail some of our individual 'liberties' in or- 
der to secure a national unity. 

"Germany and Japan have secured the spirit of co- 
operation through the action of autocracies. It is now 
for us to show that it can be achieved as well and in 




THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 

less dangerous form through democracy. Perhaps it 
can't be. If that be so, it is better to be killed before 
that impossibility has been demonstrated. If it can be, 
then any one who contributes toward the achievement 
of that end can be proud in proportion to his contribu- 
tion. Don't be anxious then. Be happy that I am over 
here as I am, despite the mournful tone of some of my 
letters." 






In the military journals, the men seek to find encour- 
aging or favourable results ; they are not interested in 
military movements and manoeuvres, as such; only in 
the results actually accomplished. They think little of 
war in tho abstract; or (curiously enough) of the 
enemy. They think rather of themselves. They do not 
forget the enemy; they simply do not think of him. 
(This, of course, is when they are not actively engaged 
in observing.) All the men questioned agree upon 
these three essential points: viz., (1) That they do 
not speak of the enemy or think of him, except when 
an alarm is given; (2) or after an attack; or (3) when 
the patrols return; that is, each time his presence is 
vividly recalled to consciousness. At such times, the 
same acts and ideas are repeated on nearly every oc- 
casion. 

When the trenches are under fire from the enemy, 
the mind centres upon one thing — how to defend the 
trench and resist the adversary. The men fire, as it 
were, to protect themselves, as much as to kilL For 
this reason they often fire badly,— especially at first. 
They have a sort of subconscious impression that this 
noise will terrify the enemy; and seek to add to this 
din in all sorts of ways — by cries, shouts, incessant 
etc. And there is no doubt that all this does 



58 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

have a certain mental and moral effect upon the enemy, 
in nearly all caBes. 

Says Dr. G. W. Crile:— 

"The nearer the trenches, the more desperate and 
intense is the fighting. In trench fighting both sides 
have adopted every variety of flame, acid, and explo- 
sive that ingenuity can devise. Every ruse, every 
stratagem, is employed in the close personal contact. 
It is as if one were contending all day and all night 
with a murderer in one's own house. 

' ' Under these conditions the personalities of the men 
become altered ; they become fatalists and think no 
longer of their personal affairs, their friends, or their 
homes. Their intensified attention is directed solely 
to their hostile vis-a-vis. They look neither to the 
right, to the left, nor behind. The gaze of each is fixed 
upon the end of the hostile gun, which may hold for 
him — his future I 

"To indicate the fierceness of the struggle in the Ar- 
gonne, I know of one instance in which an officer who 
had been wounded on the 'hell-strip,' 'No-Man's 
Land,' that red lane between the German and the 
French advance trenches, lay there for sis and one- 
half days, then died. Neither rescue nor capture was 
permitted. Flashlights played over this wounded man 
at night, and food was thrown to him from the trenches 
by day. Dead bodies lie on this strip or dangle on 
barbed wires for days and weeks and monthB. . . . 

"In the first impact of war many men in all of the 
armies became insane ; many underwent nervous break- 
down ; some became hysterical; but the great majority 
became seasoned and maintained a state of good 
health." (A Mechanistic Conception of War and 
Peace, pp. 14-15.) 






THE PSTCHOLOUY OF TUE SOLDIER 59 



I Artillery Fire 

In contrast to the vis-a-vis trench fighting with rifles 
and hand grenades and dynamite, artillery fire is more 
severe when only concentrated, and the concussive ef- 
fect of bursting shells brings other forms of injury. 
The sudden explosion of tHe shell shocks the ear, fre- 
quently breaking the ear drum ; it shakes the body, and 
often producea a molecular change in nervous tissue. 
The rarefaction and condensation of the air cause such 
violent changes in the gaseous tension in the blood aa 
to rupture blood vessels in the central nervous sys- 
tem — thereby producing an injury in a vital part and 
causing sudden death. The process is in a measure 
comparable to "caisson disease" or "bends" in work- 
men labouring under atmospheric pressure in tunnels 
under water. But artillery fire is less personal than 
the rifle or bayonet. The artilleryman rarely sees the 

■ object of his fire; he has no personal contact with the 
enemy, but suddenly finds himself in a scorching fire, 
from a source which he cannot ascertain, from an en- 
emy he cannot see. It is like quarrelling by telegraph. 
Although they cannot Bee one another, the men fre- 
quently hurl threats back and forth, — between the op- 
posing trenches. Thus, the French soldiers will call 
out, "Bring your Emperor William over here!" To 
which the German soldiers reply, "A Paris; a Paris!" 
The French call back, "You will never get to Paris, 
you Boches!" The idea of "Paris" affects soldiers 
from all parts of France equally. The simple word 
seems to have an effect upon them which is paralleled 
by none other. 

In the trenches, every one knows every one else ; and 
good and bad rumours soon spread. The men are fond 



60 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

of music, but are not particular; and while the Mar- 
seillaise stirs the French, they have been known to ad- 
vance with patriotic fervour to some popular music- 
hall soug, such as " Embrasse-moi, Ninette!" 



In the Isolated Trenches. — In these advanced posi- 
tions the men seem to form a more united and homo- 
geneous group. They are swayed more readily by 
one impulse, by a single word, or gesture. The ex- 
ample of the commanding officer here is of the suprem- 
est importance. In these trenches, the men do not 
know what is going on to the right or the left of them, 
in front or to the rear. They might be utterly aban- 
doned by the rest of the army, for all they know. This 
thought— they have been abandoned — is apt to cause 
temporary demoralization in soldiers newly arrived at 
the front who enter these positions for the first time. 
M. Lahy points out the importance of keeping the sol- 
diers in these trenches in touch with the rest of the 
army, and particularly with their near-by comrades. 
At the moment of attack this is especially essential 
At such times, M. Lahy insists, the soldier should know 
what support he is having, and the object of his attack. 
Were this support given him, his morale would be 
greatly heightened. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER (Continued) 

§2. During the Attack; Pain; Shell-Shock; Dreams; 
Fatigue, etc. 

The Assault 
A sudden thrill — 
"Fix bayonets 1" 
Gods! we have our fill 
Of fear, hysteria, exultation, rage, 
Rage to kill. 

My heart burns hot, whiter and whiter, 
Contracts tighter and tighter, 
Until I stifle with the will 
Long forged, now used 
(Tbo utterly strained)— 
O pounding heart, 
Baffled, confused, 

Heart panged, head singing, dizzily pained — 
To do my part. 

Blindness a moment. Sick. 
There the men are! 
Bayonets ready: click! 
Time goes quick) 

A stumbled prayer . . . somehow a blazing star 
In a blue night . . . where? 
Again prayer. 
The tongue trips. Start: 

How's timet Soon now. Two minutes or leas. 
The gun's fur; mounting higher , . . 
Their ntmoat. I lift a silent hand. Unseen I bless. 
01 



62 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

Tbose hearts will follow me. 

And beautifully, 

Now beautifully ray will grips. 

Sou] calm and round and filmed and while! 

Robert Nichols. 

The Attack. — Of all the events of the war, it is thii 
which persists most strongly in the mind of the sol- 
dier. The impressions are the most vivid, and doubt- 
less the traces are most deeply imprinted upon the ner- 
vous system, — hence the depth of the impressions. Ai 
such times, the soldiers seem to be sustained and in- 
spired by lofty but purely subconscious feelings and 
impressions — country, family, God, all are there in 
spirit, and form a background of superior emotions 
and feelings ; — none of which, however, are sensed con- 
sciously. If a soldier who has actually taken part in 
an attack be questioned as to his state of mind at the 
time, he invariably replies that he was not conscious 
of any images or impressions outside those which had 
reference to the immediate object of the offensive — no 
matter what the duration of the struggle may have 
been. The mind remains attached to the sole image or 
impression of the possible "mortal shock," — and the 
means of escaping it I In other words, the instinct of 
self-preservation haB assumed supreme sway. The 
following ease will give an example of this : — 

A young sergeant (who in consequence was later 
made an adjutant) was sent to observe a German 
trench. He advanced confidently to within about ten 
metres of it (at night) when he was suddenly subject- 
ed to a terrific rain of bullets. He had been discov- 
ered! Surprised, and suddenly seized with uncontrol- 
lable terror, he rushed back to the French trenches, 
', to the storm of fire, dared not climb 



I 

: 






THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 63 

the parapet. For three hours lie was obliged to lie 
flat on the ground, crouched and flattened against the 
projecting earthwork. During all that time, when he 
expected death every minute, he thought neither of his 
family, his friends, of God, duty, nor patriotism, — but 
only of how to escape death (yet he was naturally a re- 
ligious man, and devoted to his family). His reason 
never deserted him for one instant; he spoke to his 
comrades constantly on the other side of the trench, 
and received encouragement and consolation from 
them. But his mind clung to the one thought — how to 
escape and attain shelter! This instructive incident 
shows us the extremely primitive state of mind 
reached by the soldier on the battlefield, and should 
serve to dispel many sentimental illusions as to the 
"agony of soul" from which the soldier on the battle- 
field is supposed to suffer! 

A critic might object, here, that such a case is excep- 
tional; or that this man may have suffered from an il- 
lusion of memory, — and really thought of many more 
things than he thought he did. However, practically 
every soldier tells the same story; and if they think of 
anything else, these thoughts do not rise into the 
conscious mind with sufficient strength to be recog- 
nized. Such a state of mind aB that noticed is char- 
acterized by its unity, — by its fixed limits, — in which 
one image, and one only, tills the mind. This is tech- 
nically termed a state of " monoideism." In such a 
state thought seems to follow the bodily action instead 
of vice versa. It is the body which has become su- 
preme; and the mind a mere " epiphenomenon. " 

Just prior to the attack, on the other hand, the 
mind reaches a certain state of tension, which finds its 
only avenue of expression in bodily activity. Thought 



64 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

must find relief in action ! Thoa, one soldier who had 
risen above the trench and become a mark for the 
enemy, experienced what he called a brief "lucid in- 
terval," followed by an overwhelming desire to leap 
over the parapet and attack the enemy I Just before 
an attack, the officers frequently have to calm the men, 
restrain them, to keep them in check. At the moment 
of the attack, the soldier thinks nothing but, "We must 
go, we must go — now, we go!" As they climb over 
the parapet, their only thought is to get at the enemy 
as quickly as possible — not so much with the object of 
killing him, strange to say, as from the desire of saving 
their own skins. They Bweep acrqss the fire-swept 
ground, thinking only of taking cover, if any offers 
itself, or of reaching the enemy as quickly as possible. 
In a hayonet attack a man becomes for the time being 
a "beast-brute." All bis higher feelings and instincts 
are in abeyance. He becomes simply an instinctive 
animal, bent on preserving his own life, by killing as 
many of the enemy as possible. At such times the 
crisis of excitement runs high; the men cry out, they 
Bhout, they brandish their arms. When the action is 
keen, the feelings of the different parts of the body 
seem to become diffused ; they become unified only in 
the brain. One idea, and one only, floods the conscious- 
ness and the whole being of the soldier; self-preserva- 
tion. This sweep of a single state of consciousness 
over the entire being of the attacking soldier is ren- 
dered easier by reason of the previous empty mental 
life which he has led in the cantonments and trenches. 
There the soldier has become so used to being monop- 
olized by a single idea that it takes place quite nat- 
urally, and without the internal resistance which would 
be exercised by a man "new at the game." As tbia 









THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 65 

feeling surges through him, he also feels that he mas- 
ters danger; in the same way that an expert feels the 
master of some sport in which he has excelled. And 
aa he experiences this, the feeling of danger vanishes. 
The following interesting letter will give a vivid 
account of the psychology of the American soldier; 
and is one of the first received in this country which 
actually does so. It appeared in the evening edition 
of the New York Sun, February 27, 1918, and is as 
follows : — 



Won Medal on Fibst Trip Over the Top 

Corporal Hal B. Donnelly, Company B, Fifth Cana- 
dian Mounted Rifles Battalion, is from Asbury Park, 
N. J, Be enlisted with the Canadians in 1916 in time 
to take part in the Somme action, of which this letter 
is a partial narrative. He won the Military Medal for 
bravery in this fight, but on this subject the letter is 
modestly silent. 

"Dear Mother: I guess you get tired of my short 
uninteresting letters, and so I am going to relate my 
first ideas and impressions when I arrived in France 
and thns relieve the monotony of my short notes, 'I 
am well,' eta 

"Now when a man first comes to this country to 
fight the wily Hun he is not thrown immediately into 
the fray, but by gradual processes he makes his way 
from the 'base' to the trenches. In that period he goes 
through intensive training at the 'base'; then some 
more behind the line, where he becomes accustomed to 
the artillery, and by contact with ' old timers ' he learns 
the meaning of the various terms applied to shells, 
trenches, attacks, and picks up many hints on trench 



66 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

conduct. If the man is of the right sort he learns a 
great deal not taught in training camps. Then, per- 
haps, he goes up close behind the line some night on a 
working party and gets his first view of star shells. 
He learns the difference between one of ours going over 
and one of the Hun's coming our way (shells, I mean). 

"He gets wised up; also the first few times he gets 
his ' wind up ' ; but getting used to it all he gradually 
learns that all shells are not aimed at him. Then 
finally he goes to the battalion and into the front line, 
where he comes to the conclusion that most of the men 
who write in the papers and numerous others who 
trained him are the biggest liars on earth. But a day 
eventually comes when all of the horrors, all of the 
misery, the injustice and the terrors come home to him, 
and he realizes that there was to a certain extent 
method in his training. 

"My case was a little different from the one I just 
outlined. I came over from the States to Canada and 
made a few inquiries; found out a battalion that was 
to depart for England right away. I did not fancy too 
much training, but was like the 'Scotty' who wanted 
to enlist. He said to the officer, 'Gie me a horse and 
let me awa' to the trenches.' 

"I just happened to get to England shortly after a 
certain famous battle in which they lost heavily and 
were in sore need of men to fill up the ranks of those 
battalions which bore the brunt of it all, so my stay in 
England was short. I did the usual rifle range, where 
I made a fairly good Bcore — and bingo! I shipped to 
France. 

"It would surprise you, how anxious these Cana- 
dians are ' to go to it. ' I was the same ; I wanted to get 
into it and have done with my conjectures as to what 



THE PSYCHOLOGY OP THE SOLDIER 67 

it was like. But I had to go through some very inten- 
sive training before departing for the line. Bayonet 
practice and trench digging, barb wire and musketry 
practice, jumping trenches and wire, lectures — and 
presto! I was bloodthirsty; I wanted to pin a Hun on 
my trusty bayonet. 

"Oh, I sure had my wind up when we were lectured 
by a man who knew the methods used by Fritz, and 
since then, although I have ceased to be bloodthirsty, 
deep down in me rankles a hatred for all things Ger- 
man. We find out by actual experience that the atroci- 
ties we were told of are actual facts. 

"The President says we are not fighting the Ger- 
mans but Prussianism. But if he had seen what I have 
he would class all Huns as Huns and fight them tooth 
and nail. No, they are the same, collectively and indi- 
vidually—though no doubt they are the product of what 
they have been taught through a number of genera- 
tions. But we take them as we find them, and if possi- 
ble leave them so that they will never do any more 
harm. When we shall have won this war we will prove 
to the Hun conclusively that his teaching was all 
wrong. After that, perhaps in two or three genera- 
tions, he may develop into a rational, peace loving, 
little Hun. 

" But to continue about myself . I was bloodthirsty. I 
bought a file to sharpen my bayonet (which is strictly 
against the Hague convention, but is according to Hun 
interpretation of it). I purchased a beautiful bit of 
steel for a puttee knife; this instrument is carried in 
the puttee, and in case you lose your rifle in an en- 
counter or come to grips you slash or perhaps dig, and 
then convince the Hun that there is a 'war on.' This 
knife I used to finger with loving pride; it was very 



68 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

sharp. I was there all right, but I found later that I 
was not half aa ferocious as I thought at the time. 
I finally reached my objective 'up the line,' but did not 
immediately go to trenches, but was with a reserve 
battalion doing working parties. I soon picked np the 
meaning of the many Btrange noises in the back areas ; 
I could differentiate between one of our guns firing 
and a Hun crump landing. I could soon tell one of our 
planes from Fritzie's; I also learned that souvenir 
collecting was dangerous, because sometimes an old 
grenade or 'nose cap' still had a sting. 

"I was a month doing working parties, mostly at 
night to the time of machine gun bullets and there were 
shots on the road going and coming which were quite 
hot at times. But I had not reached the line. Gee I 
How I admired those mud stained troops coming out 
and those others going inl They were actually in it 
and how I would hold my tongue and listen when they 
would speak of bays, and traverse, rumjars, minnie- 
wurfers, listening posts and stand-to! These men had 
actually seen life ; they were veterans and how wonder- 
ful that they could 'go in' and come out. Why, some 
of them had been in France a year. I thought a man 
was lucky if he did not get napooed first trip in. 

"Then my ideas began to change. I saw fellows who 
had nerve to write home for things that would not 
come for over two months and they would in that time 
make several trips to the line. Gee I I thought, what a 
splendid lot of optimists. I was learning and what I 
learned from these 'old timers' was of great value to 
me later when I became a 'dweller in trenches.' 

' ' I will write a little conversation I heard ; the lesson 
it taught is obvious. 

" 'Hey, Bill, where's Chariest' 



THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 69 



I" 'Napoo.' 
" 'Whatl' 
" 'Yes. He was out on a listening post and lit a 
cigarette. Sniper got him. ' 
" 'Damn fool I ' , , 

" ' Remember Jim T T Well, he got his last trip; 

kept bobbing his head over the parapet. If he had only 
taken a look in a slow, easy manner he would be alright 
lay.' 
'Yes. That's how old Bill got his. Ain't itt' 
'Yep.' 

'Say, you know that place at B. B. Corner, where 
Fritz played his machine guns I' 
'Sure.' 

" 'Well, he's ranged about knee high and got quite 
a number of our lads in the leg. Dandy blighties, but 
one fellow, he got scared and tried to crawl across. 
Yep, he's napoo now. Too bad.' 

"I learned right here that smoking on post fur- 
nished too good a target; that I could look over a 
parapet if I gradually raised myself and remained 
stationary, then slowly withdrew my head; that it was 
better to keep on my legs when M. G. bullets 
(M. G. — machine gun) were kicking up the dust. And 
so it went; a hint here and a warning there. I filed 
them away for future reference. 

"But to carry on with the war: the day finally came 
when I was to be one of these men myself, and not only 
that, but we were going over the top in the morning. 
Never to be forgotten night before ! I was detailed to 
get this, and when I got back I headed off again for 
something else. 

"I was loaded down like a dromedary; I looked like 
a Christmas tree all hung. Rifle, bayonet (keen 



70 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

edged), grenades, a pick and shovel, umpty rounds 
ammunition, two packs of rations. All dressed up and 
nowhere to go ! And as luek would have it we got lost 
and prowled around half the night looking for our 
sector of trenches. We finally hit the front line and 
had to go along it for quite a distance. We had been 
shelled considerably in the communication trenches 
and had a number of casualties. This was war; I was 
finally in it. I cannot say that I was not excited, but 
I don't think I was afraid; only sort of apprehensive. 
Thank God ! it was night, and I overlooked a great 
many horrors ; those patches of black here and there 
on parapet and paradore, I learned what they were 
later. 

" 'Please step high and over here. Thanks.' 

11 'What's matter! Wounded!' 

"'No. My pal is dying.' 

"A little further on a fellow lying on his back and 
looking straight up — and many such. Something 
seemed to grip me; I wanted to run, hut those fellows 
ahead of me were cool enough; they were not afraid. 
Then we reached the 'jump over trench.' Our bat- 
talion is scheduled to start at 6 :30 A. M. 

"We were to have a barrage. Now I know all about 
a barrage, but had never seen one in action. Every- 
thing was quiet after 3 A. M.; not a shot was fired. 
Fritz was sending up lota of star shells, but that's his 
way. Six-fifteen, 6:25, 6:30. My God ! all hell turned 
loose ; my heart lost several beats and then caught up 
and overdid itself. Some one shouted 'Let's at them!' 

"Oh, it was a dandy barrage, and we walked over 
behind it without much opposition and took our ob- 
jective. I threw my grenades at a couple of Huns in a 
bay and when they exploded (both Huns and grenades) 









THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 71 

I slid into a trench and, according to plan, rebuilt the 
firing step. I prepared myself in case of counter at- 
tack. I did not get a chance to use my lovely bayonet. 
Fact is, I have never had a rifle from that day to this, 
but came near using my knife, and then finally used it 
many times. You see as a stretcher bearer I found 
that long, keen blade far more suitable for cutting 
away clothing than a pair of shears. And I found out 
I had been kidding myself when I thought I was of the 
ferocious, bloodthirsty breed. Oh, a fellow sure gets 
acquainted with himself over here. 

"Well, anyhow we lost three of our first aid men 
going over and the fourth was put out of action au 
hour afterward when Fritz started 'strafing' us. The 
sergeant-major asked for volunteers, and I ceased to 
be counted as a fighting man. Well, I answered the 
call all that day and not only dressed men but with 
another fellow carried them out to a sheltered spot 
in a sunken road. About 4 o'clock in the afternoon 
an officer came to me and said : ' There's a Hun lying in 
the trench up a ways. Will you get him outT' 

"Then I got tough. 'Yes, I will get him out. I'll 
slit his throat.' And I drew my big knife, already 
blood-stained. 'Yes, I'll get him out.' 

"I went up to the Hun — a big blue-eyed Saxon. He 
looked up at me and said: 'Wilst du ich ous mochtl' 
(Will you get me out?) One look at the poor devil and 
I dressed his wounds and carried him the first lap on 
his journey to the hospital. 

"And thus died the last spark of fright fulness that 
was in me. I was not made of the same stuff the Hun 
was. A Hun will show no mercy to either an unarmed 
or wounded man. I know this to be the truth. 

"I have been a stretcher bearer ever since and al- 



72 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAE 

ways take good care of wounded, only ours come first; 
Fritz must wait. And so I learned what I was made 
of, and with two exceptions I have endeavoured to save 
life rather than to take it away. 

"We were relieved after two days and proudly 
marched out with our trophies; helmets, bayonets, 
water bottles, and other souvenirs of our successful 
trip. I did not have to wonder what it was like or how 
I would act under fire. I knew, and the wonderful 
thing was that I lived through it. I expected as thou- 
sands do that I would get mine first trip over. 

"Now, mother dear, this is a long letter from your 
one and only son. It is all ancient history now, but I 
have never written to you before of this and I thought 
you would be interested in my transformation — or was 
it that I was mesmerized for a short period? But, 
honest, I did think I was going to be some guy with my 
keen edged tools. Such is life. 

"Love to you and apologies for length to censor.' 



An unusually gripping description of the soldier's 
mind, in battle, is given by a young lieutenant on the 
French front in an article entitled, "The Soul of a 
Combatant," printed in La Revue Frmco-Macedo- 
nienne, one of the trench newspapers. He writes: 

"How are we to describe the soul of the combatants 
during the attack, in the battle! The minutes are so 
intense, the pre-occupation of the aim to attain so ab- 
sorbing that even the man most inclined to self- 
analysis abandons all thought for action. The atmos- 
phere is so exceptional that even immediately after 
some difficult phases one does not recover hia soul. 

"There is first a period of preparation: building of 
trenches and shelters, of ammunition stores and posts 







THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 

for the command ; the men work day and night. The 
pre-oecupations about comfort become attenuated ; out 
of the enormous efforts, results of which we see daily, 
confidence is born; a kind of cheerfulness, vague, not 
much talked about — the instinct of a bee in a hive, the 
sentiment of complete solidarity, the joy of being 
artisans of a formidable work which shall be perfect 
only if every one gives all his strength, all his life. 
The acceptance of the sacrifice insinuates, then im- 
poses itself on all. 

"I shall perhaps never see again such a prodigious 
moral spectacle as the one given by our bivouacs dar- 
ing the three days preceding the attack of Septem- 
ber 25. 

"In the orders given since long weeks the mysterious 
day of the attack was designated by the letter N. On 
September 22 we learned suddenly that this was the 
day, N-3. Everybody prepared himself. Letters to 
the loved ones, letters of business and different inter- 
ests filled the bags of the postmen." 

Weapons were carefully oiled, the big guns pre- 
pared, the men affecting unconcern and laughing 
loudly at the slightest provocation. The artillery of 
the enemy thundered loudly. And then : 

"When, at ten o'clock in the evening of the 24th, we 
started forward toward the furnace, we left behind in 
the bivouacs, with the ashes of the letters burned be- 
fore our departure, our old soul, made of troubles, 
hope, fear, and love, and we put on at the same time 
as our equipment our soul of combat. 

"From that moment we live only in the present. 
The probability of death eclipses the past and forbids 
the future. Such a state, lasting days and days, would 
be inconceivable and also unbearable if the circum- 



74 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

stances did not make it easier by lessening greatly the 
sensibility. 

"First, there is the noise. Then after the noise the 
fatigue which breaks our limbs, the hunger, the thirst, 
the want of warm food which provokes a kind of con- 
traction of the stomach, really painful. But above all, 
that which enables a man to remain in the fight with- 
out being demoralized by the losses, by certain sights, 
is sleep; in the first hours there is no rest, and an 
immense expense of physical and especially moral 
strength; then, after a certain time, all disappears be- 
fore an irresistible need of sleep. Every minute of 
quiet, under the rain, in a hole, in an open field, under 
a violent bombardment, we lie down and sleep! Don't 
think it is a painful sleep; it is delicious. As soon as 
you allow your nerves to relax a soft warmth pene- 
trates you, flows in your veins; you squat in your ditch 
with little childish gestures, and right away, in a sec- 
ond, like a stone in a pit, you fall in the most profound, 
the most blissful sleep." 

With the waking the dream continues, and here, ac- 
cording to the lieutenant, the strange psychological 
experience begins when one seems to witness, as an- 
other individuality, the acts of oneself. Says the 
writer: 

"There is a kind of duality in you — the physical per- 
son who creeps, falls in the mud, lies down under the 
fire of the mitrailleuses, sneaks from one tree to an- 
other, and the moral person who observes theso 
strange proceedings, orders them, and enjoyB an aston- 
ishing lucidness. 

"Dream and lucidness here are the two words which 
seem to me to express best the sonl of the combatant. 

"Dream, this small wood, chopped by the fire and 









THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 73 

through which, in a hellish noise, pale men glide, creep- 
ing on their knees and elbows. 

Dream, this continual bombardment, which shakes 
the ground, crushes men and throws others on the 
earth, their faces down. 

And in that dream what clearness of thought ! This 
you must do, just this and nothing else. No hesitation. 
Responsibility, far from hindering the officer, sustains 
him, raises him up; what could he fear, when he is 
surrounded by his poilus, ready to act without hesita- 
tion on a gesture, on a word? What tenderness be 
feels for these men of all ages whom he calls "my 
children," unforgetable minutes which create between 
all a total and definitive solidarity I 

"One idea alone haunts the brain, where it tinkles 
like a bell. 'You must advance! You must advance!' 
It imposes itself not as a duty, but as an evidence. And 
we advance, and we fall. The goal is that tree over 
there, or that lump of earth. I do not see anything 
beyond; I must reach it, and nothing, nothing, nothing 
shall keep me away from that tree or that lump ! 

"All fighting has an end; at night it calms down; 
silence and shadow shroud and still everything. Tbe 
wounded, the dead are taken up; on the conquered 
ground, guarded by a few sentinels, every one sleeps 
— a sleep without dream; the soldiers have the immo- 
bility of corpses. Sleep, and sleep well; the task has 
been accomplished. One thought to the fallen com- 
rade, then the total oblivion of sleep! 

"After the offensive we come back to tbe hospital 
trenches; we wake up again to the normal life, to all 
the small preoccupa lions of old. The days of fever 
and fight are already far away; all the details are 
minutely engraved in our minds, but our soul still wan- 



76 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

dera; we can't recover it. A kind of depression sub- 
sists after the return to the physical plenitude. ' 

Pushing our analysis of the soldier's internal life a 
little deeper, we perceive, perhaps, the true nature of 
heroism. In some cases, to be sure, it may be con- 
scious valour; but in the majority of cases it is almost 
certainly not so. The man who performs some heroic 
feat is unaware at the time that he is doing anything 
extraordinarily brave. Certain psychical elements 
have found themselves so stimulated by action, after 
the continued inaction, that the feat is performed al- 
most without knowledge; the man is carried out of 
himself by the very excess of his vitality. And this 
effect is still further heightened by the psychology of 
the crowd — of joint action. "When we all advance, 
no one is afraid," a soldier once said. There may be 
the passing thought, "Am I going to be killed!" but 
he advances without fear, none the less. 

Courage is resistance to the natural fear of danger. 
It is compounded of various elements which make up 
a complex whole that appears under different aspects. 
It may be accidental, and in that case is comparatively 
easy to practise; but when it assumes a continuous 
form it is a more difficult matter, except when habit 
makes it almost unconscious. 

The European War gives us the opportunity of 
making a great many very interesting psychological 
reflections on the subject of courage, for the observa- 
tions recorded on the various battlefields arc most in- 
structive. Among the letters which I have received 
from the Front, I have selected the following one, 

written by M. de B , the artillery officer whom I 

have alreadj qti 



I 
\ 

B, 

>e 
at 

- 






THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 77 

"With regard to gallantry the war has made me 
distinguish a whole great gamut of qualities which I 
had before lumped together in more or less confusion. 

"In the first place I have come to realize the truth 
of the Spanish expression which says of a man, 'He 
was brave on such and such a day.' 

"The most admirable quality in gallantry is that 
which impels a man 1 to leave a place of safety, although 
he is not under the excitement of battle, and to plunge 
with cool calculation into some danger which he knows 
and has estimated to its full extent. 

"True courage is prudent and limits itself strictly 
to what is necessary; nor does it ever bluster, unless 
men are wavering and have to be carried along by the 
force of example. 

"The courage of one and the same body of men is 
all or nothing according to circumstances, a fact which 
is especially true for the very suggestible French Tem- 
perament. A body of Germans would certainly vary 
less in this respect. 

"The men's confidence in their officers is a most im- 
portant factor, for the very same soldiers will succeed 
or fail under identical circumstances, simply accord- 
ing to the way they are led." 

The following lines were written by a French offi- 
cer, and published in the Eclair of November 29, 
1914 :— 

"Our idea of courage has changed. It has not les- 
sened, but it has become more modest, more reserved, 
more humble, in a word, more moral. There was some- 
thing brilliant and aristocratic about the old form of 
Mirage. The men who were brave stepped out from 
ranks and were distinguished in the eyes of every 



7* PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

one. From the first moment they were seen to be the 
flower of the army, and there were visible signs to 
show that they were an exception to the general rule. 
But where there ib no crowd there can be no exception, 
and in the trenches there are only one'B two neigh- 
bours to be impressed by one's courage, and that is as 
much as to say, nobody. Trench courage is unaccom- 
panied by fame, is indeed often unconscious of itself, 
and has no longer any spectacular element. It con- 
sists almost entirely in keeping cool and in giving 
brain and will free play for the performance of their 
functions. Those who have lived through the battles 
of Ypres will find glory enough in the fact that they 
are neither madmen nor candidates for the madhouse. 

"This is the glory that we have won hitherto, and it 
is not the reflected light of a few individuals who are 
privileged by character of circumstances, but a result 
of qualities which are shared by our whole race." 

An officer, who has been more than two years at the 
front, writes: — 

"In these muddy ditches, carpeted with wet straw, 
where our soldiers live, they truly attain the maximum 
limit of human suffering, of the misery which is en- 
tailed by privation and icy cold, of strain which con- 
tinues day after day, and of distress which knows no 
end. But it must be confessed that one's ideas of a 
thing are perhaps sometimes worse than the thing it- 
self, and besides, one grows accustomed to anything, 
I never heard a single complaint, and it was not from 
bashfulness, for these soldiers of ours are not bashful 
in the least. And I not only did not hear any com- 
plaints, but, although the conditions of life were as 
hard as they could possibly be, I saw none save cheer- 
fnl men, whose cheerfulness was drawn from the deep- 






THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 79 

est wellsprings of the national temperament, and was 
compounded of confidence, optimism, and determina- 
tion." 

Another soldier writes: — 

"On the evening of the 24th we were suddenly sent 
to a trench in the firing-line near Ypres, and there we 
stayed underground for thirteen nights and twelve 
days — I was wounded on the thirteenth day. We were 
covered with mud, drenched by fog at night and numb 
from sitting still, while the furious hail of bullets, 
shrapnel, and howitzer shells never stopped either day 
or night for so much as a quarter of an hour. 

" ... It was good-bye to all our dreams of theatri- 
cal heroism, sweeping charges, and bayonets reddened 
with the blood of the hated enemy. Instead of all this 
we were choked with the smoke of bursting shells, were 
deafened by their din, buried under their fragments, 
heard the cries of the wounded, though powerless to 
move to their aid, were hit in the face by one comrade's 
brains, saw the arm of another fly into space, picked 
up a third whose feet were crushed, and carried off a 
fourth with a shattered chest. AH this we had to see 
and hear, and though we might shudder, we must not 
quail. We had stolen a march upon the fate which 
would one day lay us in our graves, for we were buried 
alive and a prey to nightmare-dreams of infernal tor- 
ments." 

Crile, in discussing the physiological factors in- 
volved in this waiting under fire, says:— 

"In mechanistic terms the phenomena manifested by 
the soldier waiting under fire may be interpreted as 
follows: His brain is activated by the approach of 
the enemy. The activated brain in turn stimulates the 
adrenals, the thyroid, the liver. In consequence thy- 



80 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

nolodln, adrenalin, and glycogen are thrown into the 
blood En more than normal quantities. These activat- 
ing substances are for the purpose of facilitating at- 
1 nek op escape. As the secretions thus mobilized are 
utilised in neither attack nor escape, heat and the mus- 
ciilar nations of shaking and trembling are produced. 
Tbl rapid transformation of energy causes a corre- 
spondingly rapid production of acid by-products. 
'Iliisi' increased acid by-products stimulate the res- 
piratory centre to greater activity to eliminate the car- 
bonic acid gas. The increased adrenalin output mo- 
blHaei the circulation in the limbs; withdraws blood 
in mi the abdominal area; causes increased heart action 
ii ml limitation of the pupils. In addition, the increased 
uidity causes increased sweating, increased thirst, 
and increased urinary output, all of these water phe- 
nomena being adaptation for the neutralization of 
noidity. 

"Thus the intense activation of the soldier waiting 
imdr-r fire for orders is explained on mechanistic 
i 'miih'Ih, and the resultant changes in the brain, the 
adrenals, and the liver are easily demonstrable. It is 
Ibis strong stimulation of the kinetic system to fight 
01 to flight that in the first experience sometimes re- 
sults in fleeing. The subsequent stimulus is never so 
intense as the primary stimulus, and with experience 
the kinetic system is progressively less driven, until 
at last the soldier is said to be 'steady under fire.' " 
[A Mechanistic Conception of War and Peace, pp. 19- 
20.) 

An under-officer, in discussing the mind of the sol- 
dier, said to me not long ago: "When a man advances, 
■ though he were pushed forward in spite of 
. it may be displeasing, but he does it. There 






THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 81 

is a motor force in one, which drives one forward. 
There is an unconscious desire to place oneself in the 
right place. We find our right places and keep them, 
as the result of previous discipline." 

The influence of the officer is all-important at the 
moment of attack. He determines the mental and 
moral tone of his soldiers. The soldier, for his part, 
seeks only to perform those acta which seem to him 
most suited to gain the desired end. He falls into 
place automatically; he refuses to make a detour, ex- 
cept when necessary; he has a stern sense of duty. 
This, and his desire to execute orders — even at the 
risk of hia life — makes the ideal soldier. One who 
stops and questions is acting contrary to his own best 
interests, — no less than to those of his country. The 
soldier reflects and should reflect but little. Ideas of 
patriotism come only upon reflection. Heroic acts are 
rarely or never due to this feeling. Such influences 
are doubtless unconsciously at work in the soldier, but 
he does not perceive them. On the contrary, one idea 
which is most important is the constantly increasing 
hatred of the enemy. In the case of the French sol- 
diers, and more particularly the English, at the begin- 
ning of the present war, there was but little personal 
animosity; but, as time went on, and the soldiers per- 
ceived the frightful wrongs which had been perpe- 
trated by the enemy, and the evils which had befallen 
their own country, the feeling of hate has gradually 
increased, until today it is certainly a formidable force 
— though of relatively recent origin. 

As Maeterlinck (in The Light Beyond, p. 295) 
says:— 

"It is nevertheless the fact that, in the moment -of 
supreme peril, little remains of all these distinctions 



82 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

and that no force in the world can drive to its death a 
people which does not bear within itself the strength 
to confront it. Our soldiers make no mistake upon 
this point. Question the men returning from the 
trenches: they detest the enemy, they abhor the ag- 
gressor, the unjust and the arrogant aggressor, un- 
couth, too often cruel and treacherous ; but they do not 
hate the man: they do him justice; they pity him; and, 
after the battle, in the defenceless wounded soldier or 
disarmed prisoner they recognize, with astonishment, 
a brother in misfortune who, like themselves, is submit- 
ting to duties and laws which, like themselves, he too 
believes lofty and necessary. Under the insufferable 
enemy they see an unhappy man who likewise is bear- 
ing the burden of life. They forget the things which 
divide them to recall only those which unite them in a 
common destiny; and they teach us a great lesson." 

In making a bayonet attack, the end and aim of every 
soldier is the complete destruction of the enemy. They 
look upon their actions in such circumstances as praise- 
worthy, moral and perfectly justifiable, and have no 
thought of murder or homicide in connection with 
them. When it is pointed out that this same action on 
their part in times of peace would be considered a 
crime, they seem quite "taken aback." They have 
been trained so long to kill that it has become second 
nature to them. They reason thus: "Each soldier 
killed lessens my own chance of being killed. Hence 
it is perfectly justifiable; I kill in self-defence." A 
soldier always attacks the whole group of the enemy, 
— not any individual in that group. He feels no indi- 
vidual animosity, and no individual pity for the man 
he has killed. In a fight, the object he wishes to obtain 






THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 83 

is that of killing off the entire enemy-group. When 
thiB is accomplished he feels that a good piece of work 
has been done. 

Crile goes flo far as to say that : — 

"Soldiers say that they find relief in any muscular 
action; but the supreme bliss of forgetfulness is in an 
orgy of lustful, satisfying killing in a hand-to-hand 
bayonet action, when the grunted breath of the enemy 
is heard, and his blood flowa warm on the hand. This 
is a fling back in phylogeny to the period when man 
had not controlled fire, had not fashioned weapons; 
when in mad embrace he tore the flesh with his angry 
teeth and felt the warm blood flow over his thirsty 
face." In the hand-to-hand fight the soldier sees 
neither to the right nor to the left. His eyes are fas- 
tened on one man — his man. In this lust-satisfying 
encounter injuries are not felt, all is exhilaration; in- 
jury and death alike are painless. A life-sized photo- 
graph giving each detail of the face of a soldier thus 
transformed in the supreme moment of hand-to-hand 
combat would give the key to the origin of war" 
(pp. 20-21). 

"At the end of the first year of the war it was esti- 
mated that ten million soldiers had been killed, 
wounded, or were missing. 

"The common causes of death are: (a) fragmenta- 
tion of the body — a sudden, painless exit; (b) shock — 
a violent, restless exit; (c) hemorrhage — a quiescent, 
fading exit; (d) infections — blood poisoning, gas gan- 
grene, and tetanus. These are the wider avenues 
through which the soldier marches into oblivion." 



* See, in this connection, my article 
of Blood," Aiot\, Oct, 1917, 



"The Occult Significance 






84 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

I questioned a man not long ago as to his sensations 
and impressions during an actual bayonet fight. 
"What were your feelings," I said, "when you drove 
your bayonet into the soft flesh of your antagonist I 
Did you feel horrified and revolted T" "Not at all," 
he replied, "I had a curious sensation in my arms as 
I felt the soft body, and I grew fatigued with continued 
fighting. But the action was of such short duration, 
and I felt all the time that I was fighting for my life, 
and seeking only to preserve myself, by killing the 
enemy, that I gave no thought to him." The act of 
killing does not shock; that is established beyond 
doubt. Even humanitarian men feel no repugnance at 
the moment of killing an adversary in this manner. 
"One kills without pain or fear," Baid another soldier 
to me; "a man simply feels that he is defending him- 
self." The feelings of the non-combatant seem useless 
and silly to the soldier in time of action. 

It is probable that the average soldier has but little 
time or inclination to make psychological analyses at 
the moment he is attacking an enemy with a bayonet 1 
The attack must be made so quickly, and is over so 
soon — that one has hardly realized it. 

Such examples as these serve to show us the relative 
emptiness of the soldier's mind — the vacuity of 
thought and feeling — at the moment of making an at- 
tack. Intuition, custom, duty, discipline, take the place 
of reason. The soldier feels that the more he kills the 
less chance he himself has of being killed. Thus, the 
fighter's mind may be divided, psychologically, into 
three states or divisions: (1) Monoideism, or the 
presence of images recalling a single idea; (2) moral 
exaltation; and (3) subordination to discipline. la 






THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 85 



some ways, then, it may be Been that the more machine- 
like the soldier the better. 



Pain 

It has frequently been noted that soldiers while 
tinder the mental and emotional stimulus of combat do 
not feel pain; and the cause of this has long remained 
a mystery to us. Writing on this subject, Dr. Crile 
says: — 

"Pain as a phenomenon of war exhibits Beveral 
variations of great interest, the key to which is found 
in the conception of pain as a part of an adaptive mus- 
cular action. Identical injuries inflicted under vary- 
ing conditions yield pain of unequal intensity. . . . 

"We can now offer a mechanistic explanation of 
these exceptions to the general rule that bodily injury 
causes pain. During the overwhelming activation in 
a charge, the stimulus of the sight of the enemy is so 
intense that no other stimulus can obtain possession of 
the final common path of the brain — the path of ac- 
tion. We have elsewhere shown that pain is inevitably 
associated with muscular action; therefore if a bullet 
or bayonet wound is inflicted at the moment when this 
injury cannot obtain possession of the final common 
path, it can excite no muscular action and consequently 
no pain. Hunters attacked by wild beasts (Living- 
stone) testify to the fact that the tearing of the flesh 
by claws and teeth cannot dispossess the excessive 
activation of the brain by the realization of danger. 
For this reason the teeth and claws of the beast do 
not cause any adaptive muscular response and there- 
fore there is no pain. In like manner the emotion of 
fear in the soldier holds possession of the final com- 



86 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

mon path bo that muscular action against local flesh 
injuries is prevented. Not only in war does emotion 
overcome pain; so does great anger; so does the exalta- 
tion of religious fanatics in their emotional rites. . . 

Shell-Shock 

With regard to the psycho-physiological, or purely 
physiological effects of the war upon soldiers, much 
has been written, mostly of a technical nature, and 
largely in medical journals. Such material lies out- 
side the province of this book; but there are certain 
phenomena which might appropriately be diseussed,- 
among which we might mention the after-effects of 
shell-shock, the mental reactions following a battle or 
an attack, dreams of soldiers, etc. Doubtless much 
valuable psychological data of this description could 
be gathered at the front, did occasion permit, and it is 
earnestly to be hoped that this task will be undertaken 
by some one competent for the work. For the present, 
we must content ourselves with a few brief notes re- 
garding these conditions, hoping that this may in some 
small degree stimulate others to investigate more 
deeply this interesting field of investigation. 

Dr. E. Murray Auer, who for some time was at- 
tached to the 22nd General Hospital of the British 
Expeditionary Force, in a recent paper read before the 
Philadelphia Neurological Society, and printed in the 
Medical Record, drew attention to many cases of 
this character, the after-effects of shell-shock, of ex- 
plosions, men who had been buried by mine explosions, 
and afterwards rescued, etc., — and stated that, in his 
opinion, these accidents or shocks often leave more 



THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 87 
■ less permanent effects upon the men who undergo 



In practically all the cases which were observed by 
Dr. Auer, the patient had received no appreciable 
physical injury, — the effect being purely mental. One 
such instance cited by the physician was found in a 
boy nineteen years old. This boy had been for three 
dayB under a sustained and heavy shell fire. At the 
end of that time he was threatened by his sergeant 
with court-martial for sleeping while on sentry duty. 
This led to an examination, and the sending of the boy 
to the hospital. He was in a stupor for ten days. The 
same was true of another soldier who had seen his 
chum blown to pieces. 

During the time of this coma, which in some cases 
lasted more than a week, the soldiers gave the impres- 
sion that they again were living through the experi- 
ences which had caused the stupor to come on. This 
was evidenced by their terrified expressions. They 
crouched, started and stared wildly when spoken to. 
One such man rose from his bed in the middle of the 
night and recited in a one-sided conversation his ex- 
perience of a charge, and burial by a mine explosion, 
and then relapsed into his stuporous state. 

Another result of shock, according to Dr. Auer's 
observations, is a continued shaking of the entire body, 
accompanied by various pains and unusually severe 
headaches. In some cases this shaking has been ob- 
served to last several dayB, and even weeks, although 
in most instances its duration is a few hours. In one 
instance this trembling came after a soldier had twice 
been buried in a mine explosion, had been through a 
charge and under heavy bombardment in a trench, and 
ally was hit by a piece of rock, which, while not in- 



I - 



88 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAE 

juring him, knocked him down. In his case the tremor 
of the head was marked, and lasted for some time. 

Temporary loss of memory is a common thing with 
the men who have been through some extremely try- 
ing period or have suffered a sudden shock. In such 
instances the recovery of memory is as sudden as its 
loss. One such soldier, after being near a shell which 
exploded, could remember nothing that happened to 
him until he came to himself, walking along a lane, 
some time later. Another man in the hospital thought 
himself back in the trenches and became violent, mov- 
ing his cupboard about as though it were a machine 
gun and pointing it at his enemies. When he suddenly 
returned to a normal state, he could remember nothing 
of his experience. 

Dreams 

One of the most common, and at the same time most 
pitiful, of the many mental results of the struggle i8 
the inability to sleep soundly and recurrence of so- 
called "trench dreams." It is not uncommon, Dr. 
Auer said, to see soldiers start from their beds in the 
middle of the night, crying out and weeping, — the 
bodies bathed in perspiration as they dream of being 
uhaBcd by Germans with bayonets, or of being buried 
under debris, following a mine explosion, and of losing 
the trench in a fog, — and being unable to get back. 

Dr. G. W. Crile, in writing of the dreams which sol- 
diers experience, says: — 

"The harmony of the Bleep of the exhausted soldier 
has but one discordant note, nnd that is the dream of 
battle. The dream is always the same, always of the 
enemy. Tt ia never 11 pleasant pastoral dream, or a 
dream of home, but a dream of the charge, of the 






THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIEE 89 

bursting shell, of the bayonet thrust! Again and 
again in camp and in hospital wards, in spite of the 
great desire to sleep, a desire so great that the dress- 
ing of a compound fracture would not be felt, men 
Bprang up with a battle cry, aud reached for their 
rifles, the dream outcry startling their comrades, 
whose thresholds were excessively low to the stimuli 
of attack. 

"In the hospital wards, battle nightmares were com- 
mon, and severely wounded men would often spring 
out of their beds. An unexpected analogy to this bat- 
tle nightmare was found in the anaesthetic dreams. 
Precisely the same battle nightmare, that occurred in 
sleep, occurred when soldiers were going under or 
coming out of anaesthesia, when they would often strug- 
gle valiantly, — for the anaesthetic dream like the sleep 
dream related not to a home scene, not to some dom- 
inating activation of peaceful days, but always to the 
enemy, and usually to a surprise attack. 

' ' One day a French soldier, in the first stage of anaes- 
thesia, broke the stillness of the operating room, trans- 
fixing every one, while in low, beautiful tones, and 
with intense feeling, he sang the Marseillaise." {lb., 
pp. 27-28.) 

The fear which is commonly found is not the kind 
which a layman would expect. The soldiers do not 
fear injury to themselves. They are rather afraid of 
doing something wrong, a fear of an emergency in 
whioh one may fail and lose the confidence of his com- 
rades. In one instance the patient was afraid to go 
to sleep, for fear he would not awake. One man who 
had no fear of being wounded had a wild desire to get 
away from the din of battle, and seemed really afraid 
of the noise. 









go PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

Blindness and deafness are frequently found, but 

one of the most unusual of the phenomena, in this oon- 

,, is the presence of "photophobia," the fear of 

. kinsc. i n many instances men are found who com- 

lain that they cannot see. In such instances, when 

their eyes are opened for them, they can see without 

- difficulty. One instance of this came as the result 

fa trench dream in which the soldier again lived 

through his burial by a mine explosion four weeks be- 

f M When he awoke, he complained that he could 

not see, and imagined that biB sight had been lost as 

result of the explosion. "When the eyelids were 

a "sod however, he could see as well as ever. 

Methods of Cure 

One of the most interesting of the medical discov- 
eries which have resulted from the tending of the 
wounded and disabled is the value of hypnotic sug- 
gestion in the cure of men broken under the constant 
ieal and nervous strain of modern warfare, 
in the conditions known as "shell-shock," in which 
t ] 1( , sufferer, though not actually hit by a shell, has 
goffered from temporary loss of memory, sight, smell, 
and taste as the result of concussion, hypnotic sugges- 
ting bus been the most potent remedy of the physician 
in obarge. 

Describing the treatment of these shell-shock cases, 

t physician at one of the London Army hospitals in 

ibing the treatment stated recently: — 

•'The patient is seated in a chair and is brought by 

orator into a Blight degree of hypnosis in the 

pfdinnry way. lie is told to clear his mind of all other 

^oughts and to concentrate on the single subject of 






THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 91 

his cure. If, as often happens, his vision is affected, 
he is told quietly and firmly by the operator that the 
defect has been cured and that once again he can see 
clearly. In some cases a single seance is enough; in 
others, the treatment may have to be repeated several 
times. In practically all cases, however, great im- 
provement, if not a complete cure, has eventually re- 
sulted." 

In this connection, it is interesting to learn that as 
an outcome of an offer he made a little time ago to the 
War Office, to decorate a hospital ward as an experi- 
ment, Mr. H. Kemp Prosser, a "colour specialist," has 
been engaged in preparing a colour ward for shell- 
shock and nerve patients in Miss McCaul's hospital 
for officers in Welbeck Street, London. Explaining his 
ideas to an Evening News representative, Mr. Prosser 
said: — 

' ' Shell-shock is a disease of the tissues of the brain, - 
and I hold that the right vibrations of colour will help 
to build them up. I do away with the sense of the 

* The newer view of the facts is that practically all cases of shell- 
shock are primarily mental or emotional in character; and not clue 
to lesions of the nervous system, as was thought at first. The fact 
of the matter is that a definite conclusion has not been reached upon 
this vital point, as applied to all cases. Says Dr. George de Sweito- 
chowski, of King's College Hospital, London — one of the largest 
and most modern hospitals in the world: — 

"It is remarkable that the more civilized combatants have been 
better able to withstand shell-shock than the natives of semi-civilized 
countries. . . . Various nerve-complaints have been met, thus far, 
that are yet to be cleared up. Thus, it is still an open question 
whether some of them are to be regarded as the outcome of an 
actual damage to the body, or whether they are the effect of the 
horrors of war on the human mind. Cases of 'miraculous cures' are 
numerous. ... In the days immediately following the conclusion 
of peace there will be an opportunity of studying the results 



92 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAE 

confinement of four walls, which bo affect the nerves by 
Introducing the colour vibrations of outdoors. I open 
(lie ceiling up to the sky by decorating it in the colour 
of the firmament- blue. The walls are thrown open by 
being the colour of the sunlight: lemon yellow. I use 
the green of buds just bursting, for it is that light the 
nerve-patient needs, and I have violet rays, which have 
already been proved so useful to 'nerves.' . . . 

"Brown furniture is sometimes used in hospitals; 
that is the colour of decay. Nerve patients do not 
want to be surrounded by autumn, they must be in the 
spring. Some of them will be conscious of colour, 
some unconscious, and others subconscious, but all are 
affected by it. In small-pox, rays of red Ugbt on a 
patient prevent him from being marked, showing one 
effect of colour. 

"I shall only have one picture — of spring, in a 
lemon-yellow frame — which will be part of the room. 
The effect will be harmony. The curtains will be on 
brackets, so that a patient who needs a violet light 
will have that coloured curtain drawn-out towards 
him, and one who needs suuUght a yellow curtain, 
achieved. The overwhelming material offered by the war will be of 
incalculable value to future medical and surgical science. . . ." 
(And, I may add, to psychological science also). 

It will thus be seen that there is still a division of opinion as to the 
primary cause of many cases of this character; and, although some 
of this confusion may have arisen from the habit of stating psycho* 
logical terms in terms of physiology (as is so often done in (he case 
of memory, e.g.) — yet it is doubtless true that the tendency is 
to regard such (rases, more and more, from the standpoint of men- 
tal and emotional lesions, rather llian anatomical lesions; and further, 
to seek for tlie innate mioeptibiEty In stwll-afaoak in earlier emotional 
utreasea in the patient thus shucked. To this end, psycho-analysis 
has been employed to good effect— although all kinds of psychothera- 
peutic measures have beeu employed to advantage. 












THE PSYCHOLOGY OP THE SOLDIER 93 

Presently they will probably be able to stand stronger 
vibrations, BUeh as orange.*' 

The therapeutic value of colour is now becoming 
more generally recognized. Different colours emanate 
different forms of vibration. These vibrations react 
on the brain and nervous system in a remarkable and 
very real manner, especially in the case of a very sen- 
sitive person, and claims have been made of extraordi- 
nary cures effected by this treatment. The experi- 
ments of Mr. Prosser will, therefore, be awaited with 
considerable interest, and if they are successful, a pam- 
phlet explaining the procedure is to be sent to all the 
military hospitals. 

Sleep: Fatigue 

Soldiers are of course subject, at times, to long pe- 
riods of intense effort -and activity, fatigue, loss of 
sleep, exhaustion, etc.; and though-the body can in a 
measure accommodate itself to these conditions, and 
an amount of hardship and fatigue can be undergone 
by the trained soldier which would have been impossi- 
ble for that man before his training had begun, never- 
theless, the body ultimately reacts, demands rest and 
sleep; and, if this is not supplied, a nervous and men- 
tal breakdown follows. Says Crile: 

"In the retreat from Mons to the Marne we have an 
extraordinary human experiment, in which several 
hundred thousand men secured little sleep during nine 
days, and in addition made forced marches and fought 
one of the greatest battles in history. 

"How then did these men Burvive nine days appar- 
ently without opportunity for sleep! They did an 
extraordinary thing, — they slept while they marched! 
Sheer fatigue slowed down their pace to a rate that 



M PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAK 

would permit them to sleep while walking. When they 
baited they fell asleep. They slept in water, and on 
roogfa ground, when suffering the pangs of hunger and 
of (.hirst, and even when severely wounded. They 
Band not for capture, not even for death, if only they 
'"iiiil sleep." 

The complete exhaustion of the men in this retreat 
I 'mm Mnns to the Marne is vividly told by Dr. Gros of 
i li" A merican Ambulance, who with others went to the 
battlefield of the Marne to collect the wounded. On 
their way to Means they met many troops fleeing, all 
hurriedly glancing back, looking more like hunted ani- 
mals than men, intent only on reaching a haven of 

uftty. 

When the ambulances arrived at Means at midnight 
Ihry found the town in utter darkness. Not a sound 
was heard in the Btreet, not a light was seen. The only 
living things were hundreds of cats. They called, they 
shouted, in vain they tried to arouse some one. At last 
they succeeded in arousing the mayor, to whom they 
sniil: "Can you tell us in what city we will find the 
wounded? We were told there were many here." The 
mayor replied : ' ' My village is full of wounded. I will 
Bhow you." With the aid of a flickering lamp, they 
threaded their way through the dark streetB to a dilap- 
idated school building. Not a light! Not a sound! 
There was the stillness of death ! They rapped louder, 
there was no response! Pushing open the door, they 
found the building packed with wounded — over five 
hundred — with all kinds of wounds. Some were dying, 
some dead, but every one was in a deep sleep. Bleed- 
ing, yet asleep; legs shattered, yet asleep; abdomen 
and chest torn wide open, yet asleep. They were lying 






THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 95 

on the hard floor or on bits of straw. Not a groan, not 
a motion, not a complaint — only sleep! 

To Bum up, then : The mental activity of the soldier 
is considerably lessened by his life in the cantonments; 
and is still further reduced by his life in the trenches. 
Here even manual work is very rarely undertaken; 
conversation is limited, and bodily or physical acts 
occupy the place of prime importance. The senses and 
the attention must be constantly on the alert and keen 
— though certain "oscillations" naturally take place 
here also. Nevertheless, the soldier constantly strains 
to keep them intact. His personal salvation, as well as 
the lives of his comrades, depends upon Ms ability to 
do so. "When he attacks, this tension of the inner being 
reaches its climax ; and the mind becomes almost 
empty. Such reasoning as takes place is of the most 
simple and primitive character — such as how best to 
save his own life, seek shelter, etc At such mo- 
ments the value of example — the effects of imitation — 
are all-important; hence the necessity of carefully 
trained officers. Threats or brutality of language will 
not stir the men at such times; what the officer should 
seek to do is to throw into the niinds of his men, at the 
psychological moment, an idea or image capable of 
invading the entire consciousness, and taking posses- 
sion of the very being. The officer thus stands for the 
country, for the flag, for patriotism, for everything 
impelling. An example of bravery on the part of an 
officer will inspire his men as nothing else will or can. 
The men obey their commanding officers implicitly, — 
feeling that their own lives depend largely upon fol- 
lowing orders. They feel that they are as liable to be 
killed in any one place as in another, but that, if they 



96 PSTCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

obey orders, these chances may perhaps be diminished, 
— and then, too, the soldier will die doing his duty — a 
feeling which remains very keen among all the men at 
the front, on whatever battle-line. 

When the soldier has been in the trenches for some 
time he gradually loses his good manners. Cleanli- 
ness, personal care, etc, are largely disregarded; but 
these moral feelings very quickly revive upon the re- 
turn of the soldier to the civil zone, and the activities 
of normal life. As one soldier expressed it, "it is like 
being born again." Nevertheless, it is possible that 
the habits of inactivity and relative idleness which have 
been engendered in the soldier may persist more or 
less through life; and if this is found to be the case, it 
will certainly have a detrimental effect upon the com- 
munity inhabited by him. 

Tin- psychology of the combatant may, therefore, be 
mmniod up as follows: life in the trenches tends to 
make the mind childish, simple, vacuous ; the senses are 
stiriiul.'it.'ii ; the will rendered intense; the thoughts are 
i upon one idea — of dominating the enemy. 
rots, ideas, all find their place taken 
l.v bodflj MMftttoM and activities. The soldier stands 
ivmly to execute liis orders at the right moment, with- 
out reflection. In whatever he does, his acts and 
thoughts become one. The most primitive of all our 
of self-preservation — that which 
everything that lives — comes to 
tin- pore, end ussmw a vital, a dominating position. 
i . of intervening civilisation are swept 
tant ; and ere see before us, not the cul- 
iterday, but the primitive brute- 
b*H«t. rtalitHtg fur In* exi life iu precisely 

on fought— and with no 






THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SOLDIER 97 

other, higher ideals in mind I It shows ua at once and 
graphically the effects upon the mind of War — and 
proves to us that it leads, not only to material destruc- 
tion, and to mental and moral deterioration, but also 
to the very extinction of the spirit of man himself — in 
the almost instant reversion of civilized man to sav- 
agery. 

[Note. Since the above chapter was written, several important 
books Lave appeared, which, unfortunately, I eannot do more than 
refer to. The first of these is that of Lieutenant t'oningsby Dawson, 
— whose book The Glory of Ike Trenches, throws some valuable side- 
lights on the psychology of the soldier, and particularly upon the 
nature and mechanism of fear. The second book is Elliot-Smith 
and Pear's work on Shell Shock, — which gives an illuminating ac- 
count of the genesis, nature and treatment of this distressing malady, 
—and fully bears out the remarks made in my Footnote, on pp. 
91-92.] 



PART II 



SUPERNORMAL 



\ 







CHAPTER V 



PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA, SCIENCE, AND THE WAK 

We have now studied the mind of the soldier from the 
moment he left his home, during mobilization, while in 
the cantonments, the trenches, and during the attack 
—to that moment when he has met death at the hands of 
the enemy ; and it now becomes our duty to endeavonr 
to trace that noble soul beyond the grave, and to show 
that he is still active, that he still possesses the same 
memory and characteristics we associated with him in 
life, and which we knew and loved. This portion of 
our task is more difficult. Not only are we now con- 
fronted with the innate difficulties of the task itself, 
but with the prejudices and opposition of mankind j — 
'also, unfortunately, by fraud and error — which so 
often creep into our observations in this field. How- 
ever, we must do our best to pierce through these con- 
ventions and difficulties, and to study the facts as we 
find them. Before we can do that, however, there are 
certain fundamental principles which must be under- 
stood, for it is upou their appreciation that the whole 
of the succeeding argument is based. This will, I hope, 
become clearer as we proceed. 

The staggering incomprehensibility of the present 
world-war has, of course, appalled humanity, and its 
ravages and after-effects will certainly be felt for gen- 
erations to come. When we come to ask ourselves the 



MS TSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

question: How could such a catastrophe overcome the 
world at the present stage of our civilization and cnl- 
turvt we are confronted with a serious problem, but 
i,h is, nevertheless, comprehensible, when we 
understand humanity and its motives. For, analyzed 
down to its core, does not the present conflict offer us 
the most convincing proof possible that it is the preva- 
lence of tho doctrine of materialism which has brought 
it about T Is it not ultimately due to the international 
jealousies and strife for material power and gain 
precipitated and rendered possible the present 
conflict! I do not say that many nations had not a 
high motive for entering the world war— Belgium and 
France to proteot their countries; Great Britain to 
succour Belgium, and live up to her treaty obligations; 
Vtnerirfl, to safeguard the lives of her citizens, which 
fling murdered; and Serbia and other countries 
for ilmilar defensive reasons. But behind and beyond 
all this lies the motivation of the war, as especially 
. J by the Central Powers; and that was to in- 
; heir worldly power and fulfil their materialistic 
mnbitlonB, It is the doctrine of materialism which is 
m) the root of the entire matter. Did men but realize 
I it liny are spiritually one; that the things of the 
•pti-il nre really the things that count; and that there 
her things besides money and power in this 
,,t LI did they but realize these things, such a war as 
nit would have been impossible; men would 
■ t i i « ■ i- in hnrmony and happiness, furthering 
mnmon good, by common means, for common 
oc would reign upon this earth, instead 
■ bloody convulsions of humanity which we soe 
ted before us. 

iwei of the riddle has just been pointed 










PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 

ont. It is because we in the West— though we may ac- 
cept the fact that we are or "have" a soul or spirit of 
some sort — do not accept this belief in any vital man- 
ner; we rather dally with it in a dilettante fashion, as 
a sort of intellectual curiosity, without for a moment 
realizing that it has a great and vital meaning for us, 
and is an experience which we ourselves must one day 
undergo. When Mr. John R. Meader and I wrote our 
book on Death: Its Causes and Phenomena, some years 
ago, we drew attention to the curious lack of interest 
which seemed to be manifested, on all hands, regard- 
ing this question of death and the after-life, and the 
possible fate of the soul. Everywhere we turned we 
seemed to find this remarkable indifference to the sub- 
ject, or that curious ostrich philosophy which refuses 
to discuss it at all. With the young, this might per- 
haps be considered a healthy sign; but for the mature 
and thoughtful mind to refuse to consider it, is indeed 
a paradox: As Professor Foumier D'Albe so well 
says, in his New Light on Immortality (pp. 1-3) : 

"The twentieth century is too busy to occupy itself 
much with the problems presented by death and what 
follows it. The man of the world makes his will, in- 
sures his life, and dismisses his own death with the 
scantiest forms of politeness. The churches, once 
chiefly interested in the ultimate fate of the soul after 
death, now devote the bulk of their energies to moral 
instruction and social amelioration. Death is all but 
dead as an overshadowing doom and an all-absorbing 
subject of controversy. 

"The spectacle of 2,000,000,000 human beings rush- 
ing to their doom, with no definite knowledge of what 
that doom may be, and yet taking life as it comes, 
happily and merrily enough as a rule, seems strange 



104 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

and almost unaccountable. The spectacle somewhat 
resembles that inside a prison during the reign o] 
terror, when prisoners passed their time in animab 
and even gay converse, not knowing who would be 
called out next to be trundled to the scaffold. 

"Every year some 40,000,000 human corpses are 
consigned to the earth. A million tons of human flesh 
and blood and bone are discarded as of no further 
service to humanity, to be gradually transformed into 
other substances, and perhaps other forms of life. 
Meanwhile the human race, in its myriad forms, lives 
and thrives. . . . The individual perishes, the species 
survives. . . ." * 

And Professor F. C. S. Schiller, of Oxford Univei 
sity, has also said (Humanism, and Other Essays, pp. 
284-86) : 

"Death is a topic on which philosophers have been 
astonishingly commonplace. . . . Spinoza was right in 
maintaining that there is no subject concerning which 
the sage thinks less than about death, — which, never- 
theless, is a great pity, for the sage is surely wrong. 
There is no subject concerning which he, if he is an 
idealist and has the courage of his opinion, ought to 
think more, and ought to have more interesting things 
to say. . . ." 

The reason for all this, of course, as so often insisted 
upon before, is that we are all practically materialists, 
though we may be religious or philosophical idealists. 
We do not, like the Hindus, let the fact of immortality 
permeate our lives, and colour and influence them. In 
the orient, this is so. They live their religion, as treD 
as profess it. They regard the "realities" of life as the 

* These figures were of course covering ante-war days ; at present 
they muM lie vcrv materially increased. 



es 

p. 



PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 



105 






unseen things, and the material things the transitory 
and shallow ones. We of the west, on the other hand, 
regard their beliefs as mere "superstition"; and con- 
sequently each regards the other as a dreamer, and a 
man striving after vain and foolish things. Never is 
the essential truth of Kipling's "For East is East 
and West is West, and never the twain shall meet" 
brought home to us more forcefully than in consider- 
ing these problems; for it will be observed that there 
is no common ground or starting-point from which 
they can both emerge, upon which they can both stand. 
One believes he is spirit, and has a transitory material 
body; the other, that he is here in this world of reality, 
which is the only thing he is sure of, and that the world 
of spirit is too far-off and unreal, too tenuous and un- 
certain, for him to worry his head about just at pres- 
ent. He may passively adhere to some creed or for- 
mula, which assures him he has an "Immortal soul," 
but it is no part of his daily life and thoughts ; it is no 
essential part of his being. 

And which is right) Is man essentially spirit, or ; 
bodyT Is the spirit permanent and the body transi- 
tory, or is the body the important thing, and the mind 
and soul a mere."epiphenomenon"T 

This is a question of fact. It is one which cannot be 
settled by dogmatic opinion, either for or against. It 
should be capable of scientific solution, just as any 
other question of fact is capable of solution, and in 
much the same manner. Philosophical arguments are 
useless and worthless, for solving this great question 
of a future life. Orthodox religion is similarly help- 
less. Those who believe will of course say that they 
know that the future life is a fact; but they are offset 
by the free-thinkers and the atheists who insist, with 



106 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

equal certainty, that they know that it is not! And 
when we come to examine their arguments, we find 
them both equally valueless, — for the simple reason 
that they express merely personal opinions, and not 
knowledge, based upon facts, at alL The one base 
tlieir belief upon tradition and the Bible, — the others 
upon the negative conclusions of modern science — and 
logic shows us that it is impossible to prove a negative. 
Thus both merely express their personal opinions, — 
orthodox or the reverse, — without any scientific justi- 
fication to back up their statements or beliefs. 

And, when we come to think of it, Christianity itself 
1b based neither upon its ethical teachings nor its spe- 
cific evidences ; but rather upon a fact — a psychical phe- 
nomenon. That phenomenon is the resurrection of 
Christ. St. Paul himself said (I. Cor., 15:14): "If 
Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and 
your faith is also vain." This is a frank admission 
that the Christian faith is based upon a psychical phe- 
nomenon, and not upon anything resembling tradition 
or belief. These much-disputed and much-despised 
psychic phenomena, therefore, form the basis, or, as 
M r. Myers so well said, ' ' the preamble to all religious. ' ' 
They are the root and foundation of them all. With- 
out them — without some tangible proof that a spiritual 
world of some sort exists — man would soon lapse into 
materialism; and it is only because these manifesta- 
tions so constantly happen, because so many men and 
women have experienced occurrences of the kind, spon- 
taneously and otherwise, that they feel that material- 
ism does not, in fact, cover all the facts of life, but that 
thore are others, not included in its philosophy, which 
point to the persistence of the soul of man, and the 



PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 107 

actuality of a spiritual world, and which render that 
world a very real and a very near reality. 

These questions are all the more pressing and im- 
perative to us, just now, by reason of the great world- 
war which is raging in Europe. Every day, thousands 
of human souls are being sent, either into some spirit- 
ual world, or into oblivion. For those who witness 
such a spectacle, no less than to the men themselves, 
it is assuredly a fundamentally important question to 
settle, one way or the other. Is man immortal, or does 
he die like an animal! Shall we see those we love, and 
who sacrifice their lives on the altar of liberty, for the 
cause of justice and humanity, again; or shall we bid 
them good-bye forever, and see them vanish like a 
dreamt 

Various religions have given us definite answers to 
these questions; but the answers have varied accord- 
ing to the religion. Perhaps, too, the practical mind 
of today is no longer satisfied with vague assurances, 
but seeks verifiable fact. And when we ask for such 
facts, the proof is lacking. The inner conviction to 
mankind — that the spirit of man will survive — still re- 
mains almost as strong as ever, for the majority; but 
the evidence for that convietion seems to be strangely 
lacking; and when the heart is torn by anguish, when 
pain and sorrow rise up and blind us till we sink into 
the black depths of despair, then, in very truth, we 
seek something more substantial than mere authority, 
more comforting than pious platitudes; we seek to 
know and to prove to ourselves beyond all shadow of a 
doubt that the one we loved is still living; that he still 
loves and is happy, and that his bouI has found a fit 
dwelling place of light, where peace and contentment 
and harmony prevail. 



IM PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

Wc seek to know the truth; but, with Pilaw, "What 
» truth*" Caa we find oar answer to these perplei- 
atf problem* in the disputed realm of spiritualism and 
payikal research! 

Ltt mt begin by positively warning the reader that 
I to: aftonma * aatanfy auaanml q ■ i meat smantioBBi 
5 about from one medium to another, he will 
mg bat disappointment, and and little more 
i fraad or self-deception. Good mediums are rare, 
a vast amount of fraad is practised in 
i too, medians mar be honest, bat mis- 
r may give ''messages" which they hon- 
t to be obtained from "spirits of the de- 
istter of fact, they have orig- 
' in the depths of their own sabconscions 
1 by shrewd common - 
► of human nature, have aided 
small residuum of 
i is so dime-alt to find, and which, in the 
perhaps lacking altogether. 
t of survival — anything like proof 
* still survive and toft to as — is afforded 
i rery few mediums; and it is upon the otter- 
9 rests. These are 
I for the conversion 
at scientists as Lodge, Doyle, Crookes, 
v. Myor*. Jamas, Hyaton\ and a host of others, 
aw wishing t' 1 know the actual fads mast read 
fair sittings. But to attempt 
I actual proof of the kind from the various 
g mediums which infest our cities would lead 
ntment; and no one desiring anything 
r would attempt to obtain it in this 



PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 



109 






I do not say IMb to discourage the reader. Good 
psychics are to be found; and good evidence is occa- 
sionally obtained through private persons, — sometimes 
through those who have never given a sitting before 
in their lives. I am only warning the too-credulous 
investigator away from the quacks and frauds which 
live among us; and also warning him that "all is not 
gold that glitters," and that much that might seem 
evidence of survival to the tyro turns out, upon exam- 
ination, to be nothing but subconscious mental activity, 
— aided, perhaps, by telepathy or traces of mind-read- 
ing from the sitter's mind. 

For instance, if a planchette board moves under the 
hands of the sitters, it is undoubtedly unconscious 
muscular action which moves the board; the sitters 
push it themselves. But that is not the point. Sup- 
pose the board spells out: "At this moment, your 
sister has been run into and killed on Broadway and 
Forty-second street," how is that piece of knowledge 
derived ! It is not the movement of the board which is 
the mystery; but the information which it imparts. 
And there is no reasonable doubt that much extraor- 
dinary information of this kind, unknown to any of 
the sitters present, has been imparted, at spiritualistic 
seances. 

Physical manifestations — which are so associated in 
the public mind with spiritualism — much to the detri- 
ment of that misunderstood subject — can rarely or 
never afford us conclusive evidence for survival; it is 
only the mental manifestations which do so. These 
are obtained by trance utterance, automatic writing, 
or by direct vision of the other world. And those 
who are not mediums themselves must depend, for 



110 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

their information, upon the statements of those who 
are thus endowed. 

"But why," you will say, "are mediums necessary 
at all? Why cannot I myself obtain messages from 
the great beyond f Surely, if my dead son would re- 
turn to any one, it would be to me, who knew and 
loved him so well — rather than through some stranger, 
an illiterate medium who can hardly speak or write 
the English language!" Well; the answer to this is 
simple. Why does electricity travel along a copper 
wire, and not a board fence? Because the copper 
wire is a conductor of electricity, and the board fence 
is not. Similarly, peculiarly constituted individuals 
seem to possess that peculiar quality or make-up which 
enables them to perceive or receive messages from 
the other world, while this is lacking in most of us. 
A great medium is certainly as rare as a great mathe- 
matician or a great painter or a great poet. His genius 
runs to psychical sensitiveness, in the same way that 
the genius, in the other cases mentioned, ran to mathe- 
matics or poetry or art. 

And the ability to communicate may be just as rare. 
Not every one who wishes to send messages from the 
"other side"— even assuming that he continues to 
persist, and longs passionately to do so — can manage 
to transmit his message through a psychic or medium. 
The ability to impart messages in this manner is prob- 
ably just as rare a gift as mediumship on our side 
and only when two such kindred souls get into touch 
with one another, under the most advantageous cir- 
cumstances, can clear messages come to us from the 
great beyond. 

And this explains to us why it is that more message: 
have not been sent than have actually been 



3 

i 



PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 111 

The answer is just this : That the ability to communi- 
cate may be rare,— no matter how much the departed 
one may wish to send word to those still in the body. 
There are doubtless many "difficulties of communi- 
cation" which must be taken into account— and these 
have figured largely in discussions published in tech- 
nical psychical books, and in the Journals and Pro- 
ceedings of the Societies for Psychical Research. In- 
tra-Cosmic difficulties; the difficulty of controlling the 
brain and nervous system of the medium; of influenc- 
ing the mind of the medium; of regulating and eon- 
trolling the automatic flow of thought of the communi- 
cator; the tendency, apparently, for the communica- 
tor to lapse into a dreamy, confused mental state, while 
communicating, owing to the difficulties involved — 
these and many more obstacles have been described 
and discussed; and the interested reader is referred 
to the literature upon the subject for the details. Suf- 
fice it to say here that there are doubtless great diffi- 
culties — so great, indeed, that many cannot overcome 
them at all; and only certain individuals, under cer- 
tain conditions, succeed in overcoming them complete- 
ly, and forcing a message through to us in this world. 

Again, it has been stated that a man, who is suddenly 
killed, experiences considerable difficulty in gathering 
himself together, as it were, mentally, after his arrival 
on the "other side," and that it often takes him days 
or even weeks— as measured by our time here — to 
recover himself completely. 

There is nothing irrational in all this: in fact, it is 
precisely what we should expect, judging by analogy. 
If a man were in a train wreck, and knocked uncon- 
scious in the accident; and if, after a time, he gradual- 
ly regained consciousness, things would only return 



112 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

and assume their proper appearance gradually and 
with great difficulty. In a letter which I published in 
the S. P. R. Journal, March, 1908, dealing with this 
very topic, I said: — 

". . . After several hours, he would return to the 
first dim consciousness of his surroundings. Gradu- 
ally he would revive. Objects would present them- 
selves to his eyesight vaguely, indistinctly; he would 
'see men as trees walking.' Sounds would be heard, 
but indistinctly; there would be a vague jumble of 
noises, and no definite and articulate sounds would be 
recognized at first, and until consciousness had been 
more fully restored. Tactile sensations, smell and 
touch, would probably come last, and be least power- 
ful of all; they would not be even distinguishable until 
consciousness was almost completely normal. All in- 
tellectual interests would be abolished, only the most 
loving and tender thoughts would be entertained or 
tolerable, and these would be swallowed up, very large- 
ly, in the great central fact that the head and body 
were in great pain; that the memory was impaired, 
and that everything like normal thinking and a normal 
grasp of the organism was impossible. Thoughts 
would be scattered, incoherent, and only the strongest 
stimuli would focus the attention on any definite object 
for longer than a few moments at a time, and perhaps 
even these would fail. . . . 

' ' Now, when we come to die, the departure of the soul 
from the body must be a great strain and stress upon 
the surviving consciousness, and must shock it tremen- 
dously — just as the accident shocked it in the ease 
given above. Certainly this would be so in the case of 
all eudden deaths. Death must be a tremendous shock 
living consciousness; the greatest aha 






PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 



113 



given consciousness could receive in the course of its 
natural existence. But after a time, the spirit is sup- 
posed to live and get over this initial shock, and to 
regain its normal functions and faculties. In its nor- 
mal life, it is then supposed to be once more free 
and unhampered by any of the bodily conditions which 
rendered its manifestations on earth defective. . . ." 

On the physical side, however, it has now been defi- 
nitely established that there is practically no pam at 
the moment of death, under normal circumstances. 
The pains of dying are the pains of living, — not of 
death itself. Death is painless. I collected a quantity 
of evidence upon this point, which I published in our 
book Death: Its Causes and Phenomena under the 
sections devoted to "Pain at the Moment of Death," 
and "The Consciousness of Dying"; and I am glad to 
say that Dr. Robert Mao Kenna, in his recent and in- 
teresting volume, The Adventure of Death, confirms 
this view, and adduces considerable new evidence in 
favour of this statement. The wound from which a 
soldier suffers may be painful; but not death resulting 
from that wound. 

It is a remarkable fact that clear consciousness may 
be, and in fact often is, maintained up to the very mo- 
ment of death ; the mind seems as clear as ever, even 
though the body be shattered and torn, or wasted by 
disease. This, surely, is a great proof of the power 
of Bpirit to manifest itself through matter; for if con- 
sciousness were being actually obliterated, it would be 
difficult to believe that it could be conscious of its 
own obliteration. If, on the other hand, it were merely 
being withdrawn from the body, the facts would read- 
ily fall into place; and this would also enable us to 
understand many puzzling phenomena in connection 



114 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

with epilepsy, states of unconsciousness, etc., which 
are extremely difficult to account for, on any material- 
istic basis.* 

The fear of death should no longer exist, save that 
it represents a plunge into the Great Unknown. In 
that senBe, truly, death is a "Great Adventure." But 
can we doubt that death — the twin brother of sleep — 
will prove all and more than we had ever hoped it to 
be! "We are born into this world helpless, completely 
dependent upon others for our sustenance; we find 
those here who are ready to help us. May it not be that 
there are those who will likewise help us when we too 
cross the "Great Divide," and pass into the next 
sphere of activity? Psychical science and the doctrine 
of spiritism say that this is so. Psychical science tells 
us that there is an ethereal body — a sort of spiritual 
counterpart of the physical body, and that this leaves 
the gross body, at death, and passes into the spirit- 
world by a process which has been minutely investi- 
gated. Scenes of tremendous activity are being enact- 
ed, we are told, over a battlefield; for thither the souls 
of fallen heroes return to help those who have just 
"died."t Help and assistance are given to newly- 
arrived spirits in this way. 

But of all this, of course, orthodox science knows 
nothing, any more than orthodox theology. To science, 
death is the end of all, — the end of life, of mind, of 
consciousness, of the one we knew and loved. To sci- 
ence, as understood today, life beeomos extinct, at the 
moment of death, just as a candle-flame becomes ex- 

• See Ihe article on "The Consciousness of Dying," by Dr. J. H. 
Hyslop, in the Journal, S.P.R., June, 1898, 

f See ray article, "What Happens in the Astrnl or Spirit World 
Over a Battlefield," in the Occult Review, July, 191& 



PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 



115 






tinct when the candle is snuffed. Life being supposed- 
ly dependent upon chemical combustion for its energy 
and existence, it of course ceases with the cessation of 
the activity which generated and maintained it ! And 
although there are many facte, viewed only from the 
purely physiological Bide, which seem difficult to ac- 
count for on this view, or are even wholly opposed 
to it, as I have elsewhere endeavoured to show,* this 
is nevertheless the view all but universally held; and 
such a view, being essentially materialistic, at once 
excludes all possibility of life existing apart from the 
physical body with which it was formerly associated. 

In order that the reader may appreciate more fully 
the value of the facts, and the necessity for providing 
scientific evidence of the kind, it will be necesBary, 
just here, to state, very briefly, the position of ma- 
terialism with regard to this question of a future life, 
and the views generally entertained by scientific men 
of the present day regarding it. 

Every one who endeavours to keep his intellectual 
fingers upon the pulse of the times must perceive that 
a great wave of intellectual materialism has swept over 
the land, and that there is a rapidly increasing growth 
of thought in that direction. Professor James H. Leu- 
ba, in his recent work, The Belief in God and Immor- 
tality, points out the fact that our Universities turn 
out more and more men who profess a partial or com- 
plete disbelief in both these doctrines— and we know 
that William James once said that religion proper de- 
pended upon two pillars, without which it means noth- 
ing — viz., belief in a personal God and the immortality 
of the soul. Some of Professor Leuba's figures are 
thus very instructive. He shows us that, among soci- 

Vitality, Fasting and Nutrition, pp. 225-303. 



116 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

ologists, professors and non-professors together, abont 
46,3 per cent, are believers in God and 53.3 per cent, 
in immortality. In the same way, among psycholo- 
gists, only about 34.2 per cent, believe in God and 
19.8 per cent, in immortality. Among physical scien- 
tists, abont 43.9 per cent, believe in God and 50.7 
per cent, in immortality; while, among the biologists, 
only 30.5 per cent, believe in God and 37 per cent, in 
immortality. 

All the more orthodox sciences of today are, of 
course, materialistic. No one thinks, now-a-days, of 
suggesting that "God" has anything to do with a 
problem in chemistry or physics — though the inner es- 
sence of the forces utilized and employed in these re- 
actions are unknown. Even in biology, where we 
trench upon the sacred province of life itself, the dis- 
tinct tendency is towards some possible chemico-physi- 
cal explanation — though it must be admitted that the 
doctrine of "vitalism" has of late years also revived 
and raised its head threateningly. Still, as before said, 
the tendency of the age, in all these fields, is toward a 
materialistic scheme of things — and only philosophers 
and theologiani, are to be found holding back, and 
contending that there may be something else in the 
world, after all, beyond matter and energy. 

Psychology has likewise come to be more and more 
materialistic in tone, with the gradual acceptance of 
the doctrine that "the mind is a function of the brain," 
and dependent wholly upon it. Abnormal psychology 
has supported this doctrine, and completely upset 
Plato's idea of the essential unity of the soul. In 
short, there is no department of science, as organized 
today, which can claim any knowledge or any proofB 






PSYCHICAL niKNoMENA 



117 



oF the soul's survival, while the general tendency of 
its teaching is all the other way. 

The simple argument of science runs as follows: 
"Wherever we find life, it is invariably associated with 
amaterial (living) organism, a body. "When that body 
is destroyed, the life functioning within it is destroyed 
also. It becomes extinct, goes out like the flame of the 
candle, and is no more. If you choose to believe that 
life persists after the destruction of the body, well 
and good; but where is your proof that it does sot 
Tntil such proof be adduced, I shall refuse to believe 
that it actually does so — just as I refuse to believe 
anything else, in the absence of facts." And this posi- 
tion is one which no amount of philosophizing and 
hair-splitting sophistry can overcome, or answer. 

How is this position to be refuted? How answered! 
Only by meeting the scientific man upon his own 
grounds, and producing the evidence he demands. And 
this evidence can be obtained in one way and in one 
way only — by the establishment of psychic, phenomena 
which prove that life and consciousness continue to 
persist after the death of the body. Could we produce 
evidence that life and mind actually do persist, in this 
manner, we should have answered the scientist, — since 
we should have produced the facts he demands; and 
at the same time answered many metaphysical ques- 
tions, depending for their solution upon this funda- 
mental problem. 

And how are we to prove the persistence of this in- 
dividual being, after his body is no morel In life, 
we never come into touch with the actual man — only 
with his outer body or expression. We converse by 
means of signs, sounds or symbols; and we reach 
and know one another by these and these alone. The 



118 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

actual man we never know or see; and if it be true that 
"no man hath seen God," it is equally true that no man 
hath seen man. The invisible being, the mental or 
Spiritual man, we have never seen; we have inferred 
him only from his expressions and his bodily actions. 
And when this body is no more, we can only hope to 
prove the reality and continued activity of the spiritual 
being beyond, by obtaining proof of his personal iden- 
tity. And this is established in much the same manner 
that anything else is established — namely, by isolating 
it and proving its reality, of and by itself. 

when Lord Rayleigh discovered argon in the atmos- 
phere, qn 1894, he proved its existence by isolating it, 
and showing that such an element was present; and 
Eamsey proceeded in much the same manner, when 
he isolated and proved the existence of four other 
rare elements, hitherto unsuspected, in our atmos- 
phere. He proved that argon existed, i.e., by isolating 
it and actually coming into touch with it. In much this 
same way we must prove the persistence of individual 
consciousness, or "personal identity," after the death 
of the body. We also must isolate it and in some 
manner get into touch with it — allowing it thus to 
prove itself to be the personality we once knew. 

And how is this proof of personal identity to be 
obtained? In much the same manner that the per- 
sonal identity of a friend is established now, — only in 
a more roundabout manner. We cannot see, hear or 
touch our correspondent, when once he has "shuffled 
off this mortal coil"; but, assuming that he exists at 
all, he still possesses the same "self" we knew here,— 
the same personality, memories and associations: 
death changes nothing, in this respect; he is essentially 
the same man wo knew here on earth, only disembodied. 



PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 



119 






We must rid our minds, once for all, of the idea 
that men and women who have passed into the great 
beyond are changed in any essential attribute. 
They are "just folks," as they are here. No worse, 
and for a time at least no better. They gradually 
learn by experience, gravitating to the surroundings 
which are in harmony with their own mental make- 
up, — thuB constituting their own Hell or Heaven. This 
is the teaching which has come to us from those who 
have "passed on," and who assert that they speak 
with authority. And, this being so, we can see that 
the best, and in fact the only way in which the personal 
identity of the speaker or "communicator" can be 
proved, is by obtaining from that personality certain 
facts and details which he alone knew when alive. 
And the more detailed and trivial and personal these 
factB the better. 

Suppose you are conversing with some one over a 
telephone. You cannot see or touch that individual; 
you can only hear him — indirectly, through the instru- 
mentality of the mechanism or instrument through 
which you are talking. The voice talking to you over 
the wire says he is John Smith. How do you know 
it is John Smith I He says so! But suppose a doubt 
arises in your mind as to his identity; you would then 
say to him : ' ' How do I know that you are John Smith T 
Go ahead and prove to me that you are really he." 
The speaker would then be compelled to tell you cer- 
tain facts which only John Smith would be supposed 
to know—which only you and he might know, or per- 
haps he alone, and you would have to verify afterward. 
Remarks about the weather, philosophical or moral 
disquisitions would not do; any one might give them. 
You would want decisive and conclusive proof that 



PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

Od chiming to be John Smith was really there, 
; and detailed personal facta relating to the 
. | slid personal identity of that individual wonld 
In- tin* only kind of evidence which wonld convince 
ran that he was really there. If detailed enough and 
i .'in nieing enough evidence of this character were ob- 
, you would probably say: "Yes, that's John 
Smith nil rightl No one else could know that! He 
|| surely at the other end of this wire, talking to me!" 
\ml thin is precisely the sort of evidence we require 
in our psychical investigations. We require trivial, 
ptnooal dataila, relating to the personality we once 
know; perhaps some sign or password; and if all this 
were obtained, we should feel that we really had proof 
that the person claiming to be there was actually there, 
—communicating with us, — throngh the instrumental- 
ity of the psychio or medium we were employing for 
the experiment. 

If we can prove the persistence of individual human 
consciousness in this manner, then a spiritual world of 
some sort is established; and communication with that 
world is likewise established. 

But here we meet objections, and have to face and 
answer other possible interpretations of the facts 
which have been advanced, in order to explain them. 
Does not telepathy account for the facts t we are 
asked. Might not the results be due to simple mind- 
rondiug, and have nothing to do with the so-called 
"spirits" at alii We know that thought-transference 
(b a fact; and' that being so, we might suppose that 
the medium obtained the facts from your mind, or 
from some other mind, and gave them forth as a gen- 






communication." How can we guard 
against such an interpretation of the caset 



'spirit 



PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 



121 



Indeed, it is often extremely bard to do so ; and here 
is, indeed, the whole crux of the problem of psychical 
research — the definite establishment of the nature of 
the intelligence lying behind and instigating these phe- 
nomena. Every one who has investigated the facts 
at all now admits that genuine supernormal manifes- 
tations take place; and that the old theories of "fraud" 
and "hnmbug" no longer apply. No; supernormal 
phenomena occur; but the intelligence producing them 
— is that the spirit it claims to be; or is it some lying 
and deceiving intelligence; or is it the subconscious- 
ness of the medium which, by the aid of telepathy, 
clairvoyance, and other supernormal powers, is enabled 

I to perform these apparent miraelesT As before said, 
that is the problem: and a very difficult problem it 
is indeed, in the majority of cases. 
Various tests and ingenious experiments have been 
made, in an endeavour to overcome these difficulties, 
and afford conclusive tests of spirit-commnnication. 
The specific, detailed facts supplied form the material 
for the discussion. Many of these facts might have 
been in the conscious mind of the sitter — hence they 

■ might conceivably have been obtained telepathically. 
More of them might have been in his subconsciousness 
— hence obtained in a similar manner, though unknown 
to the sitter. But there are many cases on record 
where facts have been stated which the sitter certainly 

■ never knew and never could have known ; so that this 
theory breaks down also. But perhaps some living 
person knew the factB — and the medium's subliminal 
self, endowed with extraordinary powers during the 
trance state, had the ability of gathering this material 
from any living mind, anywhere in the world, and skil- 
fully weaving it together into a semblance of the per- 



122 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

sonality we once knew? It is conceivable; but highly 
improbable ; and we have as yet no scientific evidence 
that anything of the sort can take place. Still, let 
us grant its possibility. What further tests can we 
apply to dispose of the sceptic's objections! 

First of all, what are known as "post mortem lei 
ters" have been devised. That is, an individual write! 
a letter, telling no one what it contains. He is, there- 
fore, the only living human being who knows its con- 
tents. This letter is sealed, and sent to the Society 
for Psychical Research, where it is deposited in tin 
safe deposit vaults. After a time, this man dies. Some 
days, weeks, or years later, he apparently returns 
through a medium, and states that he is so-and-so, the 
writer of the said letter, and that its contents is so- 
and-so. The letter is now opened and the contents 
compared. If there is identity or even similarity of 
contents between the messages, here is pretty good 
evidence that the same mind had written both — that tin- 
same mind was active still, and remembered the con- 
tents of the letter, written before death. 

Several such letters have been written, and in one 
or two of them there was a striking similarity be- 
tween the two messages, — though none of them have 
been identical, so far aa I am aware. Several of 
them have failed. There are a number of letters of 
this character on file in the offices of the Society, wait- 
ing for their writers to die I Within a few years 
from now, opportunity should be offered to test a n 
ber of messages in this manner. 

It will be obvious to the reader, however, that ev< 
this would not be a conclusive test to the sceptic, — for 
he might contend that, in such cases, the writer had 
unconsciously "passed on" the information, telepatui- 






PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 



123 









cally, to other minda, before he died; or that the me- 
dium's subliminal consciousness had in some manner 
read the letter by direct clairvoyance; and hence this 
would not be conclusive evidence of "spirit return" — 
though it would certainly be very striking evidence, 
of a kind, and evidence not to be lightly set aside. 

Again, there is the question of knowledge or scholar- 
ship displayed by the medium, during trance, which 
she did not possess, and apparently could not have 
acquired, in any normal manner. Many instances of 
this have been recorded — one recently by the Hon. 
G. W. Balfour, in the English Proceedings. In this 
case, the medium, while not an dliterate woman, was 
certainly far from a classical scholar ; she was, more- 
over, a lady in private life, not a professional medium, 
who had no desire to defraud her sitters, even had 
it been possible. The "communicators" were Dr. A. 
W. Verrall and Prof. Butcher, and the amount of classi- 
cal scholarship displayed was such that even classical 
scholars themselves had great difficulty in verifying 
the allusions and statements made, which were found 
to have a personal application to the soi-disant "com- 
municators." The evidence cannot be adduced here, 
or even summarized; but it is very striking, and is 
certainly one of the most impressive pieces of evidence 
ever presented, in favour of spirit return. 

Still another method, which the psychical research- 
era have applied, consists in the so-called "cross cor- 
respondences." That is, to obtain, through different 
and widely separated mediums, fragments of parts 
of messages, which in themselves mean nothing; but 
which, pieced together, make a complete and readily- 
understood whole. (This is to offset the danger of 
telepathy between the various mediums employed.) 






124 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE V?A 

Thus, suppose one medium in London wrote Monday 
and Thursday; one in Bombay, India, Wednesday and 
Friday; one in Boston, Tuesday and Saturday; and 
one in New York, "Sunday — this completes the list; 
see my messages obtained on such and such dates 
through so-and-so"; we should have pretty good evi- 
dence that one single mind was endeavouring to enu- 
merate the days of the week, and had planned and car- 
ried out this endeavour, through various psychics; and 
not that the subconsciousness of the various mediums 
had done it — since no one of the messages itself made 
sense. 

Now, no such simple and direct message as this has 
been obtained ; but fragmentary messages of just this 
character have been obtained through mediums, as 
widely separated as I have indicated above, unknown 
to one another; and these messages, pieced together, 
have afforded us very strong evidence that some com- 
municator was actually there, in each instance, endeav- 
ouring to give a portion of a message, — other portions 
of which had been given elsewhere; and further, that 
this mind was the same one in every case; and was 
consciously and carefully planning the whole opera- 
tion, as a proof of his identity. 

Then there is the evidence furnished by "appari- 
tions" of the dying man, or one long dead. It has now 
been definitely established, mathematically, as Prof. 
Sidgwick's Committee stated, in their Report on the 
"Census of Hallucinations," that: "between deaths 
and apparitions of the dying person a connection exists 
which is not due to chance alone. This we hold as a 
proved fact." (Proceedings S. P. K., Vol. X., p. 394). 
If the coincidence in time be exact, or nearly so, we 
might assume some form of telepathy from the dying 






PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 



125 



man ; and in fact we actually do so ; but when the ap- 
parition appears many hours or even days or weeks 
after the death, we can hardly suppose this to be the 
case. In such instances, it would certainly appear that 
something is persisting still, and endeavouring to man- 
ifest itself after this length of time — either in some 
locality — this constituting a "haunted house" — or to 
some person. There is abundant and good evidence 
for cases of this character; and such cases certainly 
indicate the presence and continued activity of some 
portion of the departed person's spirit. A nnmber 
of cases of this description are to be found in the pages 
that follow." 

Then, again, we have those remarkable cases of pre- 
monitions, warnings, etc., which so often seem to fore- 
shadow danger. Such cases seem to indicate the pos- 
session by man of faculties or powers unnecessary to 
his present existence upon this planet; and it is diffi- 
cult to see how they could have been developed by or- 
dinary terrene evolution. They point, rather, to the 
possession, by man, of powers and potentialities which, 
while useless from a practical point-of-view here, may 
yet be of value in some other sphere of activity — a 
spirit world, in short; and this is the opinion of many 
eminent men who have made a special study of these 
supernormal powers for many years. Cases of this 
character are also to be found in the present book. 

These, then, are some of the methods by which we 
psychical researchers have endeavoured to prove per- 
sonal identity, and the persistence of the individual 
human soul after death. And the evidence presented 
has become increasingly more and more striking and 

' Sep nlso my little book, True Ghost Stories, for a number of 
cases of this character. 



126 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

convincing, of late years, until it is safe to say that 
nearly every one who has studied the facts carefully, 
and at first hand, is now convinced that spirit return 
is a fact, and that the thinking soul of man does con- 
tinue to live after the change called death. 

This, if true, is a striking, a momentous, conclusion. 
For it affords us actual proof, not only that such a 
world exists, but that communication with it is at 
times possible; and that it actually takes place. "We 
thuB have the proof desired: viz., scientific evidence of 
survival. 

The cold logic here presented, while it may strike 
some readers as formal, impersonal, and lacking in that 
"warmth and intimacy" which James said belongs 
to all thoughts of our owl, nevertheless presents the 
facts, and the argument as it would present itself to 
the scientific mind, — demanding strict proof and actual 
evidence. Science, which depoetizes everything, and 
feeds only on the dry husks of facts, must have pabu- 
lum of its own choosing, in order to be convinced — 
to gain nutriment from the experiences of mankind. 
To such, this evidence must appeal. There are others, 
on the other hand, who will feel that such strict and 
stringent evidence is unnecessary; but that the intui- 
tive faith and feeling of the human race must bo suffi- 
cient guarantee that a future life exists; and that man 
survives and is happy thereafter. The opposite, they 
contend, is inconceivable. Such persons are not pos- 
sessed of "the essentially scientific mind"; but they can 
feel some satisfaction, perhaps, in knowing that the lat- 
est researches and experiments in this field have but 
served to confirm their intuitive beliefs; and that (ho 
further we penetrate this vast and shadowy realm, 
the more certain do we become that psychical phe- 






PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 



127 






nomena are real, and that a spiritual world in very 
truth exists, in which all souls find rest and peace 
and harmony, as well as vital, real life; that progress 
and happiness are there eternally, for those who 
achieve them, and that, even though a soul be sent into 
the spiritual world, all unprepared, and in the prime 
of life — still, death for all of us is inevitable; it will 
come one day sooner of later ; and it is perhaps better, 
as Stevenson has said, in his Aes Triplex, that: 

"Even if death catch people like an open pitfall and 
in mid-career, laying out vast projects and planning 
monstrous foundations flushed with hope, . . . should 
they be at once tripped and silenced, is there not some- 
thing brave and splendid in such a termination! and 
does not life go down with a better grace, foaming in 
fall body over a precipice, than miserably straggling 
to an end in sandy deltas? When the Greeks made 
their fine saying that those whom the Gods love die 
young, I cannot help believing that they had this sort 
of death also in their eye. For surely, at whatever 
age it overtakes a man, this is to die young. Death 
has not been suffered to take so much as an illusion 
from his heart. In the hot-fit of life, a-tiptoe on the 
highest point of being, he passes at a bound onto 
the other side. The noise of the mallet and chisel 
is scarcely quenched, the trumpets are hardly done 
blowing, when, trailing with him clouds of glory, this 
happy-starred, full-blooded spirit shoots into the spir- 
itual world." 



CHAPTEE VI 



PBT0H10 PHENOMENA AMIDtiT THE WABBING NATIONS 



(A Brief Account of Psychic Investigation, as Con- 
ducted by the Various Nations Now at War) 

Each nation has its own special and particular meth- 
od of investigation of things psychic — just as it has a 
distinct school in art, in literature and in orthodox 
science. Each one approaches these problems from an 
entirely different "angle," and studies the facts from 
a particular point-of-view. The present war will doubt- 
less put a stop, for the time being, to much of this 
research; men who would ordinarily be engaged in in- 
vestigations of this character are now at the front, 
fighting for their country and their flag. The grim 
realities of life and the horrors of war have eclipsed 
all else; speculative and theoretical work must bo put 
aside for the time being; metaphysics finds no place 
on the battlefield. 

At the same time, it must not be forgotten that the 
present war will come to an end at some future date; 
and the occupations of life — oven the most dilettante 
ones — will again find their adherents. A resume of 
what the various nations have accomplished in this 
little-known field may serve to bring the facts "'up to 
date," and place before the student the evidence as 
it stands today. One other factor must not be lost 
sight of, however, and that is that psychic research 



PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 



129 



is the only science which attempts to answer the ques- 
tion: What is man's future! Evolution studies hia 
past; the more orthodox sciences study his present — 
man h ims elf and his environment; psychic research at- 
tempts to investigate his future. And to many of as 
there is no reason why this inquiry cannot be con- 
ducted in precisely the same scientific spirit as per- 
tains in all other brandies of knowledge. It is no 
more "superstitious" than they— rightly understood. 

France.— French investigators have specialized, for 
the most part, in the phenomena of so-called "mag- 
netism." I do not mean by this physical magnetism — 
related to electricity — but "human magnetism" — 
thought to be present in the human body, and capable 
of being radiated from it, into space, upon occasion. 
This is the "Magnetic School," finding its centre in 
the "Magnetic Society" of France. It does not pro- 
ceed along the lines, or employ the psychological meth- 
ods, of either the English or American Societies; nor 
the physical and physiological methods employed by 
the Italian investigators (to be detailed later). Its 
method of approach is somewhat as follows: — 

These investigators believe that the majority of so- 
called "psychic phenomena" can be explained by pow- 
ers hidden in man — the supernormal use of the Will, 
and the existence and use of this magnetic "fluid," re- 
sembling life or vitality. A combination of these two 
explains the facts. (It is interesting, and also curious, 
to note that these were the two factors employed by 
the medieval magicians, and also by "witches," and 
said to lie at the basis of their manifestations.) But 
the modern school has established its belief upon strict- 
ly scientific principles. Thus, instruments have been 
devised which automatically check the "externaliza- 



130 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

tion" of this force, when directed by the will; experi- 
ments have been conducted in the "externalization of 
sensibility," as it is called — in which the power of feel- 
ing is projected beyond the normal limits of the body, 
etc Healing is also accomplished by these means. 
Photographic plates have been impressed by these 
psychic emanations; sensitive chemical and electri- 
cal instruments have been constructed to catch and 
detect them, etc. In fact, all the methods of modem 
science have been brought to bear upon the problem, 
in the attempt to prove scientifically the real existence 
of this "fluid," and its power to affect material ob- 
jects. This — and the application of delicate instru- 
ments — is the chief distinctive work of note of the 
French investigators. 

Upon the psychological side, they have specialized 
in the study of the "collective mind" — the mentality 
which is (apparently) formed and manifested at sean- 
ces. The majority of the French observers do not be- 
lieve that the intelligence which manifests at the ordi- 
nary spiritistic seance is the spirit of a departed per- 
son. They believe, on the contrary, that it is a sort of 
collective composite mentality, formed from the minds 
of those present, and consolidated into a single Unit, 
which represents a Mind of its own. It is well known 
that there is a special "mind of the crowd." They 
believe that this is a real thing, and that, on a lesser 
scale, the same Thing is created at seances. The study 
of how this mind is generated, in what it consists, how 
it manifests itself, etc. — points too technical for discus- 
sion here — have occupied the French observers for 
some years. 

Germany. — Psychic investigation is less general in 
Germany than France, — owing doubtless to the ortho- 



PSYCHICAL PIIKNOMENA 



131 






dox or materialistic trend of the people. Still, there 
is much to interest in various fields. The famous 
"thinking horses" of Elberfeld are, of course, German, 
— Elberfeld being quite close to the Belgian border. 
These horses — which are able to read, write and cal- 
culate complicated mathematical problems— are bo 
well-known that I shall not do more than mention them 
here. Even more extraordinary is the famous edu- 
cated dog Rolf, of Mannheim, Bavaria, — capable of 
figuring, receiving lessons in geography, of writing 
letters on his own initiative, and performing other 
actions which appear even more incredible! I shall 
not dwell upon the facts of this case here, since they 
are so remarkable they cannot call for belief, unless 
the facts are given in detail. I have mentioned them 
only to show that in Germany "animal experimenta- 
tion" of this character occupies a large share of the 
student's attention. 

Then, too, "doWBing," or the finding of underground 
water by means of a twig held in the hand of the 
water-finder, has been studied at great length by vari- 
ous scientific committees, and the conclusion arrived 
at that the main facts are undoubted. Water can be 
located in this way when every other means has failed. 
The committee, when last heard from, was concen- 
trating its attention upon the actual underlying causes 
involved, in the hope of discovering them. Whether 
the explanation be physical, physiological or psycho- 
logical remains to be seen. Opinions differ! 

It should be noted, in this connection, however, that 
the British army had occasion to test the practical 
value of "dowsing" in their Gallipoli campaign. Here, 
water being so precious, the finding of it by this means 
was a Godsend to the troops ; in fact, it might almost 






132 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAK 

be said that, had it not been for this, the Suvla Bay 
expedition would have been impossible. Mr. Balph 
Shirley, the able editor of the Occult Review, in an 
editorial, published August, 1916, says regarding this: 
"It will interest the British public in especial to 
know that the situation at Suvla Bay was saved at a 
very critical moment by the services of Sapper Kelly, 
of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, Australian Expedi- 
tionary Force, in his capacity of water-diviner. The 
absence of water was one of the greatest difficulties 
in connection with the holding of the position on the 
Oallipoli Peninsula. The Turks, in fact, boasted that 
it was untenable by a large body of troops for this 
very reason. The arrangements accordingly made by 
the authorities for water distribution were on a vast 
scale. It was actually brought from Malta, being towed 
in huge barges to the improvised piers at Anzac On 
the beach a large steam-pumping plant was erected, 
which pumped the water from the barges to large tanks 
on both the right and the left of the Anzac position. 
The difficulties of supplying water under these condi- 
tions were grave in the extreme, especially as the heat 
was intense, and the least hitch in the organization led 
to a shortage of the Bupply. Matters had become 
very serious, and a complete breakdown was threat- 
ened, when the attention of the generals in command 
was drawn to Sapper Kelly's reputation as a dowser. 
He was sent to headquarters, and asked to endeavour 
to discover if there were any indications of under- 
ground water in the area. Early next morning Kelly 
Btarted on his investigations, and very soon located 
water within a hundred yards of Divisional Headquar- 
ters. On being opened up by the engineers, the well 
and to give a volume of over 2,000 gallo 






PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA , 133 

pure cold artesian water per hour. Two other wells 
were subsequently opened-up in the immediate vicin- 
ity. By six o'clock that evening every man in the 
section had his water-bottle filled, and within a week 
Kelly had located the positions of over thirty-two wells, 
on which pomps were subsequently erected. The water 
supply obtained in consequence was calculated to be 
sufficient for 100,000 men with one gallon per day 
per man. It must be remembered that not only did 
the troops require water, but there were also thou- 
sands of mules which also required watering, and that 
one mule will drink as much water as twenty men. 
The instrument used by Sapper Kelly was a small 
piece of copper which he held in his hands and by 
which he ascertained the depths at which the water 
was to be found and also whether it was a "pocket" of 
water, a spring, or an underground river. Previous 
to these experiments the engineers in their endeavours 
to find water had sunk shafts within fifty yards of 
the spot indicated by Kelly and had gone consider- 
ably lower in the earth than he found necessary, but 
without success." 

But the most dramatic and extraordinary German 
evidence that has come before psychic students for 
many a long day hails from Munich. Here Baron von 
Schrenck-Notzing, who is also a physician — well-known 
for his writings on hypnotism and abnormal psychol- 
ogy — has brought forward evidence of the most ex- 
traordinary and striking character. For four years 
past he had carried on a systematic investigation of 
so-called "materialization" phenomena. He has pub- 
lished an enormous work on the subject, which has cre- 
ated a stir throughout the length and breadth of the 
land. His "medium" apparently succeeded in produo- 



134 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

ing, under the most stringent conditions, forms, or 
parts of forma, which have been photographed, and 
even moving pictures taken of their gradual develop- 
ment and disappearance! Cameras were placed inside 
and outside the cabinet; the light was good; the sean- 
ces were held in Dr. Schrenck-Notzing's own house or 
laboratory; the medium was medically searched and 
examined before and after each seance. Occasionally 
the medium gave the seance completely nude — as a 
test — to prove that nothing was concealed about her. 
Nevertheless complete forms issued from the cabinet, 
and a peculiar Blimy, cold substance, which Dr. 
Schrenck-Notzing termed "teleplasm" issued from the 
medium's body, and was seen and felt by him. Nat- 
urally, the publication of such facts led to a bitter 
controversy; and this was still going on when the war 
broke out, and effectually ended it for the time being. 

Austria. — Southern Austria and the North Balkan 
States constitute, of course, the home of the "Vam- 
pire." The peasants of these countries still implicitly 
believe in the reality of such gruesome beings, which 
leave their newly-made graves, to come and suck the 
life-blood of those still living. Terrible Btories are 
told of these creatures — as also of werwolves, black 
magicians, etc.! It is earnestly to be hoped that, 
some day, a committee of psychic investigators may 
be appointed, which will thoroughly investigate these 
stories, and ascertain what truth — if any — there be in 
such narratives. 

The real scienti6c work in this field, which Austria 
contributed, has been the interpretation of dreams, 
and the exploration of the subconscious mind, as elab- 
orated by Sigmund Freud, of Vienna. He argued, in 
his remarkable work, that most dreams represent a 






PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 



135 



suppressed wish, antl that many of them have a sexual 
significance. He has also contributed much to the 
Systematic symbolic interpretation of dreams. While 
much of his work is disputed and suggests an attempt 
to prove a particular hypothesis rather than to ascer- 
tain the true bearing of the evidence, some of it is 
doubtless sound. 

Russia. — In certain educated circles in Russia, "spir- 
itualistic phenomena" have been very carefully and 
scientifically studied. Count Alexander Aksakof spent 
practically his whole life on this subject, and pub- 
lished an enormous work, in two volumes, Animism 
and Spiritism, which may well be considered a classic, 
i uunt Solovovo — Hon. Secretary of the English Soci- 
ety for Russia— has also contributed a number of care- 
ful studies, and in particular carried out some very 
curious experiments with a medium (now dead) named 
Sambour, who had the power (apparently) of passing 
"matter through matter" in a mysterious wayl For 
instance, the sitter and the medium would take one 
another's hands; they would not let go for a second. 
In the dark, the medium would then succeed in "thread- 
ing" a chair on to the arms of the sitter — that is, in 
passing the chair on to the extended arm — as one 
would normally hang it on a peg. The hole in the 
chair was too small for the medium's body to pass 
through; the hands were never released; the lights 
were only turned down after the hands were so held. 
Short of the actual miracle, one can only assume some 
exceedingly clever trick, plus much cleverness of de- 
ception; but though this medium was tested for a num- 
ber of consecutive weeks, his secret was never discov- 
ered. 

Far and away the most important work in this field 



136 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

of psychic investigation, however, comes to us from 
Russian Poland, where Dr. Ochorowicz had been ex- 
perimenting for a number of years with a young me- 
dium, named Mile. Tomczyk, who passes into trance, 
and in that state has the power, apparently, of mov- 
ing solid objects without contact; of impressing pho- 
tographic plates merely by placing her hands upon 
them; of causing her thoughts to be photographed; of 
projecting her "etheric body," so that it can be pho- 
tographed, and even more marvellous things. These 
phenomena, many of them, seem well established — 
as Dr. Ochorowicz is known, not only as a careful 
and cautious student, but one who has a thorough 
knowledge of the difficulties involved, and has spent 
a number of years experimenting with the same sub- 
ject. Two committees of Polish scientists investigated 
and endorsed his facts. (Some of these I have re- 
viewed and explained in my Problems of Psychical Re- 
search, pp. 53-66.) 

Great Britain. — The work of the English Society 
for Psychical Research is well-known the world over. 
Its members include as many eminent scientists as are 
to be found in any similar body in the world; its in- 
vestigations are always made with extreme caution; 
its treatment of the subject-matter is eminently sane. 
The chief interest of this Society, for a number of 
years past, has been the detailed psychological study 
of the automatic writing of certain mediums — such as 
Mrs. Piper, Mrs. Holland, Mrs. Forbes, etc. — who have 
apparently produced striking evidence of the influ- 
ence of spirits of the departed. Direct personal evi- 
dence is studied; also what has come to he known 
as "cross-correspondences" — that is, the experimental 
verification of the same facts through two or more 






PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 



137 



mediums ; independent receipt of inf ormation through 
several mediums, unknown to one another; securing of 
literary and scientific material beyond the conscious 
powers of the medium ; obtaining the contents of sealed 
letters, written by members before death, and only 
opened after their contents has been given through 
the automatic writing, etc. It will be seen at once 
that their work has been almost entirely along the 
psychological — rather than the physiological or physi- 
cal — lines; they have dealt mainly with the mental 
problems, and chiefly with the evidence for survival. 
This has received very adequate, yet cautious, treat- 
ment. In addition, dreams, apparitions, haunted 
houses, premonitions and similar phenomena are con- 
stantly being examined. The English Society has been 
unfortunate in its investigations of the "physical phe- 
nomena"; and recent experiments have again proved 
inconclusive. Those who are interested in the mental 
manifestations — and particularly in what evidence 
there may be of a scientific character for the persis- 
tence of the human soul after bodily death — will find 
this problem treated more fully by the British Society 
than anywhere else. The evidence is, of course, far too 
lengthy and prolix to even summarize here. 

Itai>t. — Italy, on the other hand, seems to breed 
physical mediums; they appear indigenous to the soil I 
The famous Eusapia Palladino comes from NapleB; 
Sordi, Carancici, Politi, and other "physical" mediums 
all hail from Italian shores. The work in this country 
has naturally turned very largely upon the detailed 
study of these mediums — mainly from the physical and 
clinical pointB-of-view. Thus, Lombroso and Morselli, 
— the eminent psychiatrist of Genoa, — both studied me- 
diumship from its physiological and pathological sides. 






138 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE VIA 

After establishing the fact that certain persons 
produce what appear to be physical miracles, they 
studied the psychic medically, during, before and after 
the production of these phenomena. In this way, 
many remarkably interesting facts have been brought 
to light. Thus, we have learned (what we should have 
guessed already) that practically all mediums suffer 
from mental dissociation; many of them are hysteri- 
cals; some present remarkable pathological symptoms. 
All this, of course, does not affect their mediumship — 
save that it shows the connection between, abnormal 
and supernormal phenomena (a point which I person- 
ally have always contended for very strongly). Out- 
side of Lombroso, practically none of the Italian group 
of observers are spiritists; they believe, rather, in the 
supernormal powers of the subconscious, plus the abil- 
ity of the medium to "externalize" a semi-fluid sub- 
stance from the body, and mould this in space, to re- 
semble a human figure. In this way they attempt to 
account for "materializations." Psychical research, 
in Italy, is almost entirely devoted to the physical 
phenomena. 

Belgium. — Belgium has produced few scientific in- 
vestigators. A remarkable series of experiments was 
made some years ago, in a private family, and the 
results published. They dealt with the phenomena of 
so-called "materialization," or the creation of phan- 
tom forms. The sitters were not professional me- 
diums, in any sense of the word. Professor Delbceuf, 
of Liege, devoted many years to this subject, and 
studied induced hallucinations, hypnotic phenomena, 
the cure of warts by suggestion, the appreciation of 
time by somnambulists, etc. Maurice Maeterlinck is 
also a close and ardent student of these questions,— 






PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 139 

as bis recent books on Death, The Unknown Guest, 
The Light Beyond, etc., show. 

Holland. — Dr. Frederick van Eeden, founder of the 
first hypnotic clinic in that country, is an active worker 
in these problems, and has made the name of Holland 
famous by his original researches. For fifteen years 
he has experimented with his own dreams, and ap- 
parently succeeded, finally, in freeing his "dream- 
body" from his physical body, during sleep, and "pro- 
jecting" it — causing it to take journeys in space on 
its own account, and see and hear things actually 
transpiring at a distance. His paper, published in the 
Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, is 
extremely interesting and profoundly suggestive. He 
believes that we can in time gain such power of control 
over this body that it can affect other people, move 
material objects, etc. If this be true, it will, of course, 
cause a profound change not only in our belief as to 
the inseparable tie between body and mind, but also as 
to the causes of dreams. 

In Holland, too, Drs. Malta and Zaalberg van Zelst, 
two Dutch physicists, have contrived several delicate 
instruments by whose aid, they believe, they are able 
to get into direct communication with the spirits of 
the departed without the aid of a "medium" at all; 
that is, the instrument itself will act as a medium — an 
intermediary — and render direct instrumental com- 
munication possible. They are well-known as careful 
physicists, and their arguments are certainly plausible. 

America. — The American Society for Psychical Re- 
search, of which Dr. James H. Hyslop is the Secre- 
tary, and with which I was actively associated during 
the first two years of its organization, haB published 
a great variety of valuable material, dealing with 



140 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

physical, mental and spiritistic phenomena. The Pro- 
ceedings and Journals of the Society, isaued each year, 
constitute a veritable mine of psychical material of 
high quality, thongh the publications are more spirit- 
istio in tone than the English Society's Proceedings, 
owing to the convictions of the Editor in this direction. 
Mediumistic phenomena occupy a large part of the 
Society's publications — unfortunately, confined too 
largely to one medium. The collective value of the 
material is, however, undoubted. 

In Canada, there ia a Psychical Research Society, in 
Toronto, of which Dr. John King is the President. No 
official publications have been issued, so far as I am 
aware, detailing the activities of this body. 

It is unfortunate, to say the least, that the present 
war will put an effective stop to this investigation — 
at least for the time being — just when conclusions 
were being reached and facts of far-reaching signifi- 
cance obtained. It is earnestly to be hoped that, after 
the present war has been concluded, the research will 
be continued with ever-increasing enthusiasm ; and that 
a mass of valuable data will have been gathered, as the 
result of careful psychological investigations conduct- 
ed at the front by competent investigators. 






CHAPTER Vn 



PBOPHECIES AND PREMONITIONS 



Soon after the commencement of the Great War, a 
number of European journals published accounts of 
prophecies, which were said to have been made, all 
the way from three days to three hundred yearB be- 
fore, — showing, so it was claimed, that the war had 
been foreseen with exactitude by numerous seers, at 
various times in the past; and that the present war 
had been foretold in detail by them. It must be admit- 
ted, at once, that the majority of these prophecies are 
either totally unconvincing, or were afterwards shown 
to be fraudulent, or of so general a character that they 
are valueless from the evidential point-of-view. The 
prophecy of "Brother Johannes," e.g., which cre- 
ated quite a stir at the time of its publication, has 
since been shown to be a forgery; while those con- 
tained in the various astrological almanacs are ex- 
tremely vague, and might be stretched to cover almost 
any event of unusual magnitude. After the war had 
started, many astoundingly accurate "prophecies" 
were of course forthcoming; but it is unfortunate, to 
say the least, that none of these should have been 
produced before its outbreak. The interested reader 
is referred to^ a little book entitled Prophecies and 
Omens of the Great War, compiled by Mr. Ralph Shir- 
ley, editor of the Occult Review, for the most striking 
cases of the kind for which reasonable testimony has 



142 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

been adduced; and to Herbert Thurston's book ! 
War and the Prophets, for a negative criticism of 
these cases. Professor F. C. S. Schiller has also con- 
tributed a paper to the Journal of the English Society 
for Psychical Research, War Prophecies, in which 
much the same criticism of these cases is adduced 
(June, 1916). 

There are, however, a few eases which deserve spe- 
cial mention, either because of their detail, or because 
of the authority of those who arc responsible for 
them, or because of the fact they were not only written 
down, but seen and testified to, by independent wit- 
nesses, before the outbreak of the war. One of the 
best of these, perhaps, iB the following, which was 
obtained through Professor Charles Richet, one of the 
most eminent physiologists of France, and a savant of 
indisputable authority. Here are the details: — 

On June 3d, 1914, at a time when Europe was undis- 
turbed by any thought of the terrible war avalanche 
which was soon to burst upon her, Professor Charles 
Richet handed to a M. de Vesme a manuscript written 
by Dr. Amedee Tardieu, in which the latter gave par- 
ticulars of a prophecy made by a friend of his, a M, 
Leon Sonrel, as far back as 1870, that war would break 
out in France in 1914. 

M. Sonrel had made other prophecies of future 
events, all of which had been fulfilled, and a curious 
feature about them was that his predictions in regard 
to national matters synchronized with many other pre- 
dictions he had made in regard to his own private 
life and that of his friends. Dr. Tardieu writes that 
he was walking with Leon Sonrel in the Luxembourg 
Gardens, Paris, when the latter seemed to have a kind 
of prophetic vision. In this he saw clearly certain events 






PROPHECIES AND PREMONITIONS 143 

in regard to the war of 1870, all of which came to pass 
in due course, including the French defeat at Sedan, 
the siege of Paris and the revolution. The visionary 
predicted at the same time his own early death, and 
that his wife would give birth to a posthumous child. 

Added to this, he predicted many events in Dr. 
Tardieu's life which all in due course came to pass. 
He announced that France would be at war once more, 
soon after certain events in Dr. Tardieu's life were 
fulfilled. The precise nature of these private events 
Dr. Tardieu did not publish, but he announced to his 
friends that war was due before September, 1914, 
because the events of his own life, with which the 
prediction synchronized, were fulfilled in May of that 
year. All Dr. Tardieu's friends bear witness of the 
latter's prediction in regard to the war. 

It is interesting to note in this connection that Son- 
rel predicted that the war of 1914 would bo a victorious 
one for France. To quote the words of the prophet: 

"France is saved, she extends to the Rhine. my 
beloved country, you are triumphant — you are Queen 
of the nations!" 

The fact that attention was drawn to this prophecy 
two months before the beginning of the war makes it 
worthy of special notice. 

However vague and indefinite its wording may be, 
Dr. Tardieu evidently had no difficulty in interpreting 
its full meaning, enlightened as he was by the fulfilled 
predictions relating to himself, upon which the ful- 
fillment of the prophecy in regard to France as a na- 
tion was made to depend. 

In the Occult Review for December, 1915, Mr. Ralph 
Shirley gives the following case, which must be ac- 
knowledged to have some interest, were it only for 



144 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

the fact that it embodies the supposed date for the 
ending of the war. Mr. Shirley says: 

"In writing of predictions that are in process of 
fulfillment, or may possibly yet be fulfilled, I should 
like here to quote the Model's Prophecy, the story 
of the Breton yrho forecasted his own fate. This has 
not yet appeared, and I think deserves mention, though 
I an) not in a position to vouch for its bona fides. It 
appeared in the French newspapers some considerable 
time ago, in the early part of the war, and runs as 
follows : — 

"For several years a well-known French painter 
of battles and military life whose name is not given, 
but whom it should surely be possible to identify, 
employed a native of Brittany for his model. One 
day in July, 1914, about a fortnight before the out- 
break of the war, the model, who was of a psychic 
temperament, arrived at the artist's studio in a very 
dejected state of mind. On the painter inquiring what 
it was that troubled him, he announced that the country 
was on the brink of war. The painter pooh-poohed his 
fears and expressed a desire to start on his work. But 
his model was not to be turned from his fateful prog- 
nostication. 'War,' he said, 'will be declared on 
August 2.' The artist promptly retorted that if his 
model knew when the war would begin he was also 
probably aware of the date on which it would end. 
Yes, was the reply, I know this too, the war will end on 
May 22. The artist hereupon invited him to come and 
see him on May 23 and share a bottle of wine in cele- 
bration of the fulfillment of his prediction. 'Impos- 
sible!' replied the other, 'I could not come. I shall 
be killed in the second half of November.' The story 
goes on to state that the model fell on the battlefield 






PKOPHECIES AND PREMONITIONS 145 

on November 27. No mention, it may be observed, was 
made of the year, bat only of the day and month on 
which the war was to terminate, and apparently the 
artist forgot to inquire. ..." 

One of the most remarkable prophecies, however, 
relates to the fate of Serbia, and for this we have 
the authority of Count Miyatovich, former Premier 
of Serbia and at present envoy extraordinary to Great 
Britain and the United States, on behalf of that strick- 
en country. This prophecy was made, apparently, in 
1868, and has formed part of the secret archives of 
Serbia ever since. Practically everything then fore- 
told has since come to pass, it is said; while many 
of his statements relate to the future, and are still 
unfulfilled. In his interesting account, in the Occult 
Review {February, 1916), Count Miyatovich tells us 
how this prophecy came into being. He says : — 

"Three or four miles from the town of Ujitsa — (I 
may here add that the district of Ujitsa is adjoining 
the Sandjak of Novi Pazar, and is the most mountain- 
ous part of Serbia, a sort of Serbian Scotland) — Ues 
the small village of Kremna. On the afternoon of 
May 29, 1868, a peasant of that village came in a 
great hurry to Ujitsa, the district's principal town, 
and running through the street and the market, shouted 
in great agitation: 'Help, O brethren, help! They 
are murdering onr Prince 1 ' The police, thinking that 
he must have gone mad, or waB drunk, arrested him. 
Two hours later a telegram arrived from Belgrade 
announcing the assassination of Prince Micbfel in 
the Park of Topchidere on that afternoon. The police 
then thought the peasant — whose Christian name was 
Matha — must have known something of the conspiracy 
assassinate the Prince, and commenced criminal 



146 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

proceedings against him. The poor fellow swore that 
he did not know anything about the conspiracy, but 
he explained that he suffered from a 'peculiar malady ' 
which caused him from time to time to see visions, 
which visions, sooner or later, became confirmed by 
real happenings. Asked if he had visions concerning 
future events in Serbia, he answered affirmatively, and 
at the request of the President of the Court of Justice 
and the Prefect of the District, he described what 
visions he had, his descriptions being taken down in 
writing by the Secretary of the Court. The original 
minutes of his statements are still preserved in the 
Archives of the Court of Justice at Ujitsa." 

Count Miyatovich then relates how Matha foretold 
the use of the telephone; stated that Nish would be 
Serbian; that Serbia would have a king; the wars 
of Turkey and Bulgaria, the activities of King Milan, 
his divorce from Mb wife, his exile and his dying 
broken-hearted abroad, and then goes on to narrate 
the following interesting story: — 

"In the beginning of the year 1889, I happened to 
be the Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet 
of the venerable Nichola Christich {whose daughter- 
in-law, Mme. Elizabeth Christich, and Miss Jane Chris- 
tich, are well known as Serbian patriotic ladies in Lon- 
don society, and in journalistic circles). Now I must 
tell here an historical episode. 

"On February 19, 1889, the Prime Minister called 
all the Ministers to a sitting of the Council, and to our 
utter astonishment and dismay, told us that the King 
had expressed to him his firm resolution to abdicate 
the crown on the occasion of the national festival on 
February 22, that is to say, in three days! On my 
proposal we went at once in corpore to the palace to 






PROPHECIES AND PREMONITIONS 147 

try to dissuade the King from his fatal and unworthy 
intention. Every Minister spoke, and implored the 
King to abandon so unfortunate a decision. I, who 
had been not only a loyal subject but also a personal 
friend to the King, spoke with undisguised indigna- 
tion. Having exhausted all the arguments, the Minis- 
ters waited to hear what the King had to say. King 
Milan then replied, thanking the Ministers for their 
loyalty to him, and acknowledged that their arguments 
were unanswerable, but that he had been considering 
abdication from all points, and came to the conclusion 
that he could not do otherwise than, abdicate. Then 
he added: 'I am not surprised, gentlemen, at your 
endeavours to dissuade me from the contemplated step, 
but I am astonished that Miyatovich talks with such 
violence, when he knowB, as well as I do, that my 
abdication must take place!' 

"The moment we left the King's presence the Prime 
Minister invited us to come to his room for consulta- 
tion. There he addressed the Ministers Bomewhat in 
these words: 'Gentlemen, you have all heard the King 
say that Mr. Miyatovich knows. I think we have a 
right to ask our colleague to explain why he never said 
a word to any one of us with regard to the King's 
intention to abdicate?' 

"I then told them that fourteen years before King 
Milan and I heard together many details of the proph- 
ecy of Matha of Kremna, that among those details 
the abdication of King Milan was also foretold, and 
that the King's remark referred to that prophecy. 
The Minister of Public Education, Dr. Vladan Gyorg- 
yevich, protested against such a ridiculous explana- 
tion on my part, and said that probably Matha of 
Kremna and his prophecy never existed. 



148 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

"Then, to my own pleasure and surprise, oar old 
and universally-respected Prime Minister took op my 
defence against Dr. Vladau. 'You will remember, gen- 
tlemen (he said), that in 1868 I had the misfortune 
of being the Home Minister, when Prince Michael was 
assassinated. The Prefect of Ujitsa reported to me 
about the strange visions of the peasant Matha of 
Kremna, and it was I myself who ordered the Prefect 
to take down formal minutes of the statements of this 
peasant concerning his visions of coming events. A 
copy of these minutes has been forwarded to me, I 
have read it myself, and I believe it will be found here 
in the next room, among the documents of the Secret 
Archives of that year (1868).' 

"Thus the existence of the prophecy of Matha of 
Kremna was confirmed by the Prime Minister Chris- 
tieh, a man well-known for his earnestness, cool judg- 
ment, and absolute honesty. 

"The third statement of Matha of Kremna con- 
cerns the present events in Serbia, regarding the 
whole country : ' The people will be most unhappy and 
suffer terribly, so much, indeed, that men and women 
passing a churchyard will exclaim: "Oh, how happy 
you are, who are dead, and do not suffer as we do 
now!" But after some time a man will arise in the 
midst of the people, will drive away the foreign army, 
and then unite all the Serbian countries into one state. 
An era of prosperity and happiness will then ensue, 
so that men and women passing a churchyard will ex- 
claim: "What a pity you died, and are not living to 
share this happiness which we now enjoy!" . . .' ' 









PROPHECIES AND PREMONITIONS 149 

PKEMOSITIONS 

Leaving the above eases to speak for themselves — 
and it must be admitted that, while some of them are 
curious, none of them taken individually is completely 
convincing — we may now turn our attention for a few 
moments to cases of individual premonitory warnings 
and here, I think, the evidence becomes very striking, 
in many instances. It should perhaps be pointed out, 
parenthetically, that a great amount of evidence has al- 
ready been published on this subject in the past; Mrs, 
Henry Sidgwick's paper "On the Evidence for Premo- 
nitions," in Proceedings, Vol. V.; Mr. F. W. H. Myers 1 
long article on "Precognition" in Volume XI; cases 
scattered throughout psychic journals and other pub- 
lications; Dr. Bozzano's book (in Italian) on premo- 
nitions — here and elsewhere a mass of evidence may 
be found, tending to prove that man does at times 
lift, at least partially and fitfully, the veil which con- 
ceals the future, and learns what is about to happen 
to him, or sees some event which afterwards actually 
transpires 

It is not the place here to enter into any discussion 
as to the causes at work — supposing genuine premo- 
nition to be a fact. Some have contended that there 
is a species of clairvoyance in time, as there is in 
space; some that discarnate spirits assist in the pic- 
turing of some future event; some believe that "com- 
ing events cast their shadows before," and that pres- 
ent events have already shaped or predestined future 
steps in the cosmic evolution, and that these happen- 
ings are somehow stamped or impressed upon some 
plastic or etheric substance, and thence read or inter- 
preted by the seer; some believe that the future is al- 



150 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

ready present, in some sense, only not yet known or 
perceived by us as "present"; some that the subcon- 
scious mind of the seer, by its own heightened powers 
of perception, is enabled to perceive tendencies more 
readily than the normal mind, and hence registers 
them ahead of their registration by the normal con- 
sciousness — these and other theories might be given at 
length, and their various pros and cows discussed; but 
such discussion would not here profit us. We need 
only record the fact — for fact it appears to be — that 
men and women, under certain stresses of the mind or 
of the emotions, or in certain peculiar and ill-under- 
stood states, which often seem to appear quite spon- 
taneously, — do in fact partially and dimly vision the 
future ; and that, inasmuch as this faculty is apparently 
not the result of terrene evolution, it indicates to us, 
very strongly, the existence in man of powers which 
are destined for use in some higher sphere of activity, 
— where these psychic and supernormal powers are in 
fact employed. 
The present war has furnished many cases of this 
■character; and from those which might be given, the 
following will at least act as samples, illustrative of the 
rest. In some cases, the soldier has foreseen his own 
death; in others, he has been enabled to prevent it; in 
still others, his death has been foreseen by those near 
and dear to him at home; in still others, a general 
vision or picture has been shown — in which, naturally, 
the seer plays a prominent part — as he would in his 
own dreams. Take for example the following case, for 
which I am indebted to Kosa Stuart's little book 
Dreams and Visions of the War.* We might call it — 

• Dreams and Visions of the War, by Robs Stuart ; with a Prefac* 
by F-sfelle Stead. Arthur Pearson and Co., London. 1/- net. 






PROPHECIES AND PREMONITIONS 151 



A Premonition of Death 

"A striking case took place during the campaign on 
the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. It ia a case not likely 
to be easily forgotten by the mates of Private Rey- 
nolds,— the chief actor in this touching little drama of 
the war. The following is the story as related by his 
comrade, Private Pugh. It is interesting to know, too, 
that its authenticity is vouched for by the Captain of 
the regiment to which the two men belonged. 

"It was a stifling hot summer's night on the Gal- 
lipoli Peninsula. Fighting had taken place intermit- 
tently during the day. For a time, however, the can- 
non had stopped their booming and activity of stray 
snipers had relaxed, so the little company of New 
Zealanders who had held their ground so bravely were 
snatching a welcome half-hour's sleep. 

"Suddenly Private Reynolds awoke with a start. 
All sleepiness had left him. His sudden movement 
succeeded in waking his neighbour, Private Pugh, also, 
and as the latter raised himself on his elbow to see 
what could be amiss, he saw that Reynolds was staring 
up at the sky with a startled look in his eyes. 

" 'What's the matter, mate? You look kind o' 
scared, ' he said. 

"There was silence for a moment. The night was 
calm, still and impressive. In the firmament of blue 
above gleamed myriads of golden points of light. Afar, 
the gentle, soothing lap of the waves against the rocks 
could be heard. Then Private Reynolds spoke: 

" 'I shall have to go on Listening Post duty at mid- 
night on the 25th of June, and I shall be shot through 
the head,' he said. 

'But what makes you think thatf asked his com- 






152 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

panion, impressed in spite of himself by the deep, calm 
tones of conviction in which Reynolds' startling an- 
nouncement had been made. 

" 'Only this,' was the reply. 'I had a dream just 
now, and in that dream I saw my mother reading a 
newspaper. She looked up from it suddenly, and her 
face was so white and her eyes so horror-struck that 
I found myself looking over her shoulder to see what 
she had been reading, and there in the "Roll of hon- 
our" my name stood out — "Private Reynolds, shot 
through the head while on Listening Post duty on June 
25th," is what I read.' 

"Private Pugh laughed at his friend for his 'fit of 
the blues,' as he called it, and so did all hia other chums. 
They said the dream was the result of a disordered 
mind aggravated by poor rations and physical fatigue, 
— in short that the general war conditions had got on 
Mb nerves. He was told to 'buck up,' and put all 
thought of it out of his head. 

"But they couldn't help recalling the dream premo- 
nition at which they had scoffed when Private Reynolds 
was called out on Listening Post duty with five of his 
companions two days later, on June 25th, the very day 
which his dream had foretold. 

"Only two of the six men came back. These report- 
ed that the party had been taken in ambush by the 
Turks at midnight. Private Reynolds, with three of 
his mates, had been shot through the head. Thus in 
every detail had his dream been fulfilled." 

A Fulfilled Prophecy 
Another remarkable example of a case of thi 
is to be found in the experience of William Roberts, 
who fought at Suvla Bay. 






PROPHECIES AND PREMONITIONS 153 

"In May, 1912, Roberts was a merchant seaman, and 
it was just about this time that he had a dream which 
puzzled him a great deal. 

"For he dreamt that he was in the khaki uniform of 
a soldier taking part in a skirmish, in the course of 
which the men on his side were being pressed back. 
Soon afterwards he found himself alone and confronted 
by two dark-visaged enemy officers, one of whom en- 
gaged him and clearly had the upper hand. He ent 
at Roberts' head a few times, though Roberts suc- 
ceeded in parrying these cuts ; then he made a thrust at 
his right side, which practically disabled him and made 
him cry out in pain. Finding him helpless and at their 
mercy, his attackers took away his equipment and 
weapons from him. At this point he awoke; but the 
dream left an impression upon him for some time, and 
he related it to several people. 'Funny thing that a 
sailor should dream of fighting on land,' he said. 

"His dream was fulfilled in a curious way. Upon 
the outbreak of war he decided to enter the Army in- 
stead of going into the Navy, as he knew that just then 
soldiers were the nation's foremost need. He was 
amongst those who went to Suvla Bay, and on Novem- 
ber 25, 1915, at the 'Green Knoll,' Suvla, took place 
the very fight he had witnessed in his dream. 

"Shortly after sunset his company had come out of 
the front line trench. They took up a new position, 
and had only been digging themselves in a .short while, 
when the Turks were upon them, rushing their left 
flank. They were compelled to fall back man by man 
to avoid being trapped. Roberts, the last man on the 
right flank, received a bullet through the side. He had 
no sooner fallen than two dark-visaged Turks rushed 
upon him. One attacked him with a sword bayonet, a 






154 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

kind of weapon which each of them carried. He made 
several cuts at Roberts* head, cuts, however, which 
the latter managed to parry. Then the Turks com- 
menced thrusting at his right side. The first thrust 
disabled Roberts and made him cry out with pain. 
Between them the two Turks despoiled him of his arms 
and equipment and then retreated quickly, as the Brit- 
ish had started a bomb attack. 

"Judge of the amazement of the wounded man when 
suddenly he realized that the spot on which this inci- 
dent had taken place was the very spot pictured in his 
dream. He had been attacked and wounded in the right 
side by two dark-visaged men, exactly as he had dreamt 
he would be three years before at a time when the 
thought of donning the King's uniform had never so 
much as entered his head." 



Foresaw Oitm Death 

It is not unusual for a soldier to have a deeply- 
rooted impression of impending death upon the battle- 
field; but seldom is a premonition fulfilled in regard to 
the smallest detail, as in the case of a lieutenant in the 
1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry, a young man 
of twenty-two, who met his death at the front in July, 
1916. 

Before he adopted the uniform at the beginning 
of the war, he was an assistant master of the Choir 
School of a well-known church in London, with the help 
of the clergy of which church he was studying for Holy 
Orders. Grave, quiet and peace-loving by nature, his 
strong sense of duty urged him to resign bis dutius for 
the time being and answer the call of his country; but 









PROPHECIES AND PREMONITIONS 155 

from the first he seemed convinced that he would not 
survive the war. 

Later he was able to foretell how he was going to 
die. "I shall be wounded four times, and my fourth 
wound will kill me," he told his friends. Things hap- 
pened exactly as he said. On three different occasions 
he was wounded and came home on sick leave. The 
last time before he returned to the front he bade his 
people an impressive farewell. 

"You will not see me again," he gravely said. 

And he never returned, for in the second half of July 
he was once more wounded in action, this time very 
dangerously, for he had a fracture at the back of the 
skull. They took him to hospital at Eouen, where two 
days later he passed away. 

An Appeal That Was Heard 

In the following case the relatives of the sick man 
seemed to be apprised of his illness just before or at 
about the time he was delirious and at his worst. The 
case — though older than those just given — is interest- 
ing, and was thoroughly investigated at the time. The 
father's testimony is as follows: — 

'On Sunday night, 25th May, I had a most extraor- 
dinary dream. I dreamt that my son A., a young offi- 
cer in a regiment at Gibraltar, was lying very' ill there 
with the fever, and was calling out to me, 'Father, 
father, come over and let me see you or my mother.' 
The next morning I went to see the Rev. Q., the well- 
known coach, living near me. On entering his room he 
exclaimed, 'Do you believe in "dream- waves "f* I re- 
plied, No, I did not. He remarked that just as I was 
entering the room, he was on the point of sitting down 






156 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAK 

before his desk and commencing a letter to me, asking 
me to come over and see him. I then said, 'I had a 
curious dream last night. I Baw before me my son A., 
down with fever at Gibraltar, imploring me to come 
over and see him.' As I had that morning a letter 
from him, written in good spirits, I thought it was curi- 
ous, and gave the dream no further thought. 

"On Tuesday, the 27th May, I weut to Ramsgate 
with my second son, for change. On the 29th May, one 
of my family here wired to me to return home, as news 
had arrived from Gibraltar that my son A. was very 
ill with Rock fever. I returned in a few hours. I read 
over my letters from Gibraltar. It appears that on the 
17th May, my son fell ill, and was placed on the sick 
list. The attack turned out to be Rock fever. He 
gradually got worse; on the 24th he was delirious, and 
on the 25th his brother officers had to get a nurse, Mrs. 
S., to take charge of the patient. On the 23rd a second 
doctor was called in consultation. So bad was the news 
that I received from Gibraltar by letter and telegrams, 
that I left London on the 4th June, and reached it on 
the 9th. I found the patient doing well, but very weak. 
I had to remain there until the 3rd July, the attack of 
fever continuing, and we both returned home on the 
8th July. 

"I mentioned to the nurse my curious dream of 25th 
May. She said she was placed in charge of the patient 
on the afternoon of that day. He was very delirious 
all that night, and was constantly calling out, 'Oh, 
mother, mother, do come over to see me'; and as he 
probably remembered how delicate she was, that she 
could not take a sea voyage across the Bay of Biscay, 
he also called out, 'Father, father, come and comfort 
me, and let me see yon again.' 



PROPHECIES AND PREMONITIONS 157 

"It was months after our return home before the 
fever left him, and he did not quite get rid of it till 
November. ..." 

In conversation, Colonel V. stated that he dreamed 
very little, and scarcely ever had distressing dreams; 
and that, quite apart from the confirmation, this dream 
would have been very exceptional in its character. 
Mrs. S., who was an excellent nurse, and whom Colonel 
V. regards as entirely trustworthy, has left Gibraltar, 
and gone, he thinks, to Morocco. 

A True Vision 

A somewhat striking instance of a mother's pro- 
phetic dream is to be found in the experience of the 
Derry lady, whose son, belonging to the Canadian 
Mounted Rifles, was away at the time doing his bit "at 
the front." 

In her dream she saw her son standing with his back 
towards her. He had evidently lost both his uniform 
and his equipment, for his sole garment seemed to con- 
sist of an odd-looking purple robe with a number of 
folds, that had been wrapped around him. As she 
looked at him she noticed that he held his arms above 
his head in the attitude of surrender. And then she 



"I feel sure that our boy has been taken a prisoner 
by the Germans," she said to her husband the next 
morning, after relating her dream She told it to sev- 
eral other people, describing also the position of a 
canal, the house near by, and a group of willows at the 
scene of the capture. An officer who had been at the 
front recognized it from her description as a portion 
of the country ronnd Hooge. 



158 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

Until the night of her dream her son had sent his 
mother a postcard regularly every week. Her anxiety 
was great when for three weeks no card came, and she 
felt sure her dream had been a true one. 

This belief was confirmed when three weeks later she 
received the Canadian Record Officer's intimation that 
her son was reported missing since the night of June 
2, 191fi, the very night of her dream. Next day she 
received a card from her son with the information that 
he was a prisoner of war in Germany. Three weeks 
later his first letter came. In the course of this he 
said: 

"I will not tell you of the terrible hours previous to 
my capture, except to say it is a miracle that I am 
alive. I was taken on the night of June 2nd, and when 
captured I was practically naked, being without cap, 
coat, or boots. My captors, however, were very decent, 
and supplied me with most of what I needed when I 
reached here." 

Thus to the very date of the capture of her son, the 
mother's remarkable dream was fulfilled. She is wait- 
ing until the end of the war to learn more fully of its 
almost uncanny accuracy. 

Saved From Death 

The premonitory warning may take the form of a 
picture, a voice, a form, a restraining hand, or merely 
a more or less vague impression to do a certain thing 
at a certain time. TheBe are merely the various ways 
in which the subconscious mind externalizes its infor- 
mation, or in which that knowledge is imparted to it. 
In the following incident, for example, the soldier saw 
a vision of his mother, and this apparently saved him 






PROPHECIES AND PREMONITIONS 159 

from certain death. Writing borne to his mother, he 
says : — 

"One night while carrying hombs, I had occasion to 
take cover when about twenty yards off I saw you look- 
ing towards me as plain as life. Leaving my bombs I 
crawled nearly to the place where your vision ap- 
peared, when a German shell dropped on them, and — 
well — I had to return for some more. But had it not 
been for you, I certainly would have been reported 
'missing.' 

"... You'll turn up again, won't you, mother, next 
time a shell is coming!" 

Foresaw Own Death 

There seems to be a general impression among sol- 
diers stationed in certain parts of the front that Lord 
Kitchener knew that his own death would be on sea 
and not on land, and many tales are told to the effect 
that Kitchener himself mentioned this on more than 
one occasion. The following account, quoted admit- 
tedly at second or third hand, seems to bear this out 
A recent publication states that — 

"An officer in the French Army, who was in the 
great General's company when the latter visited 
France shortly before his death, related how one day 
when they were going together through the danger 
zone at the front, a shell burst very near them. The 
French officer was alarmed for the safety of the man 
upon whom bo much depended, but Lord Kitchener did 
not flinch: 

" 'There is nothing here that will harm me,' he said 
confidently. 'Somehow I seem to know that it will be 
on sea, and not on land, that I shall meet my end.' 



160 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAE 

"Barely a month later his premonition was fulfilled, 
for on a stormy night in a wild sea, off the rocky coast 
of the Orkneys, the Hampshire, on which Lord Kitch- 
ener and his staff had set out for Russia, was wrecked 
two hours after sailing, and so it was on the sea and 
not on land that one of the greatest soldiers of modern 
times met his death." 

It may perhaps be said that, out of all the thousands 
of men who are daily giving up their lives at the front, 
and whose relatives are thinking about them, with anx- 
ious thoughts, there must be many coincidences, and 
that "coincidence" alone is sufficient to account for the 
cases presented, or those hitherto gathered and pub- 
lished. In this connection, however, it should be 
pointed out that no amount of thinking about a person, 
however near and dear he may be, would be sufficient 
in itself to present to the subconscious mind a pro- 
phetic picture of the actual circumstances of the deatli 
— that is, the actual and accurate facts in the case. 

Take, for example, the following instance, given in 
Dreams and Visions of the War: — 



A Vision of Death 

"A case in point came to my knowledge quite re- 
cently. It is the tragic experience of Mrs. Parker of 
London, whose son enlisted in the Army in November, 
1915, and went to Chatham for bis training. In this 
case I may say at once that the element of anxiety was 
conspicuously lacking. Private Parker was in train- 
ing at a home station. There was no prospect of his 
being called to actual danger for some months at least 
llis mother had not the slightest ground for won 






PBOPHECIKS AM) PREMONITIONS 161 

about him at all. And she didn't worry abont him. 
Far back in the recesses of her mind was the thought 
of the time when he would .join the other lads in the 
trenches in Flanders, — a time when she would never 
hear the postman's knock upon the door without a feel- 
ing of dread; but bravely she put these thoughts away 
from her, for she knew by experience that 'Sufficient 
unto the day is the evil thereof,' is a very useful motto 
to act up to in time of war. 

"And then, just after be had been three months in 
training, she bad her dream. Just a day or so before 
she had received a letter from him in which he told her 
he was in splendid health and spirits, and she was per- 
fectly happy about him. 'The life will do the lad a 
power of good,' she would say to the neighbours again 
and again. 

"Yet on the night of the 4th of February, 1916, a 
date which will ever b"ve in her memory, she dreamt 
that she saw a coffin brought home by four soldiers and 
placed on two chairs just inside the hall by the front 
door. Standing near the soldiers was a man in mufti, 
who looked at her gravely with an air of commisera- 
tion upon his face. Then he advanced slowly and 
raised the coffin lid in order that she might glance at 
the corpse within. She gave a scream of agony and 
terror as in the cold, waxen, lifeless features she recog- 
nized the face of her son. Overcome with horror and 
grief she awoke, feeling sure that such a dream was a 
presage of evil, although, as I have said before, her 
son was presumably in no danger, for he wa3 still 
training at Chatham, and there was no prospect of his 
being sent out to France for three months at least. 
'That night, as she said afterwards, was for her a 



162 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

night of grim terror, though she did her best to per- 
suade herself that it was foolish to worry over a dream, 
that in fact there was no reason of any kind for her 
to worry at all. 

"But on the following morning she received a wire 
from the officer commanding the Military Hospital at 
Chatham, saying her son was seriously ill. Three days 
later he died, and his body was brought up from Chat- 
ham by military escort for burial in London. And 
now comes the strangest part of the whole experience. 
The coffin containing the corpse was carried into the 
house of the grief-stricken mother by four soldiers, 
who set it down upon two chairs in the hall. It was 
then that the undertaker, the man in mufti in her 
dream, came forward and removed the coffin-lid in 
order that she might take a last look at her son's fea- 
tures before the coffin was finally screwed down. 



Prophetic Dreams 

The following premonitory dreams, relating to Zep- 
pelin raids, were published in the Journal S. P. R. 
October-November, 1917. Writing editorially, Mrs. 
Salter says : — 

In the following case the percipient, Miss W., dreamt 
vividly of an air raid at a time when one was actually 
in progress at a distance. On the first occasion it is 

possible that Miss W may have received some 

intimation of the raid by normal means during her 
sleep; on the second occasion this hypothesis does not 
seem tenable. In view of the freqnency with which air- 
raids occurred during the month of September, and of 
the degree of expectation which was thereby aroused, 
it is worth while to call attention to the fact thi 



' 






PROPHECIES AND PREMONITIONS 163 

time of Miss W 's dream she had no special reason 

to anticipate a raid. 

The first report we received was in a letter from 

Miss W , aB follows: 

August 23, 1917. 

I do not know whether you will consider the follow- 
ing incident worth recording. In the night of Tues- 
day last, August 23d-24th, there was an air-raid alarm 
in this town. The warning is only given by lights go- 
ing out, and as I was already in bed I knew nothing of 
it until I went down to breakfast in the morning. Our 
night nurse was sitting up with my mother; she is very 
nervous, and in previous alarms and raids had been 
much frightened. However, this time, because we had 
bad such an anxious time, she put a great compulsion 
on herself and did not call me, but she has been saying 
ever since that she cannot understand how she was 
able to do it — she did not seem to be herself at all. 
The effect on me was that I had a very vivid dream of 
a raid: I saw the Zeppelin (in my dream) and dis- 
cussed with my brother whether it was our own or 
hostile; I saw the men prepare to drop a bomb, and 
saw (but did not hear) the bomb drop and explode. 
On that I awoke, and it was six-thirty A. M. Some 
bombs were dropped on villages near the Humber, I 
sec by the papers. No remarks had been made about 
Zeppelins for a long time previously, and the general 
impression was that we had finished with them. In 
spite of being in innumerable alarms at Hull and here, 
I have never dreamt of an air-raid before. 

M S. W . 

We then wrote to Miss W asking if she had 

related her dream to any one before she knew of the 



164 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

raid and if a statement could be obtained from the 
nnrse. We also asked whether there was any possi- 
bility that Miss W could have heard the bombs 

in her sleep. Miss W replied as follows : 

August 25, 1917. 

I will try and answer the questions in your letter. 

Unfortunately I did not mention my dream before 
hearing of the alarm. I most probably should have 
done so, but I had no opportunity. On going down to 
breakfast about 8.20 I met Mrs. Mercer (the night 
nurse) on the stairs, and as soon as ever she saw me 
she said, "Do you know there has been an alarm in 
the night T" I replied, "That is curious, because I 
have had such a vivid dream of a raid" — or words to 
that effect. She was the first person I saw that morn- 
ing. I enclose her statement. 

Saturday, August 25, 1917. 

Mrs. W 's night nurse met Miss W on the 

stairs about 8.20 a. m. Wednesday morning, 22nd 
(August), saying: "There has been a raid" (to which 
she replied), "Well, I have been dreaming about a 
raid and Zepps and bombs dropping." I then said to 

Miss W : "I would not call you or any one, until 

I heard the men coming to call up," feeling very cool 
and not nervous, very unusual for me. 

A. Mekceb, 

The following is the official report of the raid, which 
appeared in the Times of August 23, 1917: 

The following communique was issued by the Field- 
Marshal, Commander-in-Chief, Home Forces, yester- 
day (August 22), 11.15 a. m.: 

Enemy airships — numbers not definitely ascerts 






PROPHECIES AND PREMONITIONS 165 

—appeared off the Yorkshire coast last night (August 
21-22). 

One of the raiders attacked the month of the Hum- 
ber, and was fired on by anti-aircraft guna. She 
dropped some bombs and then made off to sea. 

The damage so far reported is slight, but one man 
was injured. 

4.10 p. in. 

Latest reports show that, although a number of en- 
emy airships approached the Yorkshire coast last 
night, only one, or at most two, ventured to come over- 
land. Twelve high explosive and 13 incendiary bombs 
were dropped at three small villages near the coast; 
a cbapcl was wrecked and several small houses dam- 
aged. One man was injured. 

Our correspondent in a Northeast Coast town tele- 
graphs that after some months' immunity from raidB 
a Zeppelin appeared on Tuesday night. One aged man 
was injured and was removed to the infirmary. At a 
seaside resort in the district there was an alarm, but 
no damage was done. 

It will be seen from the above report that this was 
the first Zeppelin raid which had taken place for some 

time. Although it is possible that Miss W 's dream 

was occasioned by her bearing and interpreting . . . 
in sleep the sound of the "relief-buzzer," this does not 
appear very probable, since she was not familiar with 
the sound, and her dream did not occur until nearly 
three hours after the relief signal was given. 

Shortly afterwards we had a further communication 

from Mibs W , as follows: 

September 3, 1917. 

Last night (the night of September 2-3) I again had 
the same vivid dream of an air-raid as the one I re- 



166 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

ported to you about 12 days ago. I saw the bomb 
drop, and saw, and this time also heard, it explode. 
When I awoke it was 4 A. M. A cousin was sharing 
my room, and when she awoke about 7.45, I told her 
of my dream; I had not been downstairs or seen any 
one else. We rather smiled to think of my having 
dreamt the dream on a night so unlikely, aa we thought, 
for a raid. There was a brilliant moon and a high 
barometer. On getting into the town about 11 we saw 
the notice of the raid on the Kentish coast chalked out- 
side the newspaper office. No one else heard any noise 
or explosion during the night. 

M. S. W 



A corroborative account was received from Miss 
W 'b cousin — A M. F . 

The following official report of the raid appeared in 
the Times of September 3, 1917: 

The following communique, issued by the Field-Mar- 
shal, Commander-in-Chief, Home Forces, at 11.50 last 
night, was received at the Press Bureau at 1 o'clock 
this morning, and forwarded to the Press at 1.30: — 

Hostile aeroplanes crossed the East Kent coast at 
about 11.15 tonight (September 2, 1917) and flew Bea- 
wards a few minutes later. 

A few bombs were dropped. 

There is no detailed information as regards casual- 
ties, but they are believed to be smalL 

A message from the southeast coast early this morn- 
ing reported that a single enemy aeroplane flew over 
the coast about midnight. The night was beautifully 
fine. The moon waa full, and the wind had fallen 
somewhat. It is stated that six bombs were dropped, 
t two persons were injured. 



PROPHECIES AND PREMONITIONS 167 

Another report gives the number of injured per- 
sons as five but they are not serious cases. The raid is 
described as having lasted a few minutes only. 

This was the first of the "moonlight" raids which 
became so common in the latter part of September. 
The earlier Zeppelin raids — it will be remembered — 

usually took place on moonless nights. Miss W 

had therefore no reason to expect a raid on that par- 
ticular night, and since the raid was in Kent, it does 
not seem that she could have become aware of it during 
the night by any normal means. 

In her original letter Miss W states that these 

were the only occasions upon which she had dreamt of 
an air-raid. This statement she repeated on Oetober 
4, 1917, as follows :— 

Yes, it is quite correct to say that I have never ex- 
cept on those two occasions dreamt of an air-raid, or 
of anything connected with one. I am always (except 
just that once) called up when there is an alarm at 
either York or Hall, so, of course, that diminished the 
opportunity of dreaming. 

M. S. W . 

An Accurate Premonition 

The following case is narrated in a contemporary 
publication : — 

"An interesting case is that of a Pagham lady who 
dreamt she saw her son coming down the garden path 
with a coloured shirt on. He was walking in a curious 
way, in that he kept his left side turned from her, and 
that is what puzzled her about her dream. 

"Very shortly afterwards her eon arrived unex- 
pectedly from France. He had been wounded in the 






168 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

left side of his face and shoulder, and was wearing 
the coloured shirt of her dream, which Bhe had never 
seen before, and indeed which he had only just bought 
two or three hours before. 

"Very similar to this is the experience of a North- 
umberland lady named Dodd. In 1915 she received a 
card from her husband, who was in Prance, saying 
that he was ill, but that there was nothing to worr; 
about. She fretted a good deal, as she felt sure he was 
keeping the worst from her, and making light of his 
illness, whatever it was. That same night she had a 
dream in which she thought she saw her husband at 
home hopping about on his right foot. In her dream 
she said to him, 'I thought people could not sing when 
they had been gassed. ' 

" 'I have not been gassed, but my left foot is very 
sore,' he replied. 

"The next morning she related her dream to a neigh- 
bour, and to use her own words, they both thought 
'there was something in it.' Curiously enough a letter 
soon afterwards arrived from her husband, to say that 
he was in a hospital in Liverpool, suffering from septic 
poiBoning in the left ankle and foot." 



y 



Saved by a Vision 






In many instances, the warnings seem to assume a 
semi-religious character, as in the following, where a 
"Btill, small voice" seemed to speak from within. 
This is particularly true after the emotional nature 
has been deeply stirred by some act of barbarism — of 
which, unfortunately, the present war offers too many 
examples. 

In 1870 the German Army pillaged, murdered and 



PROPHECIES AND PREMONITIONS 169 

raped even as they do now. Only in 1870 the world 
would not believe what every French man and woman 
knew. The officer commanding the Prussians tried to 
outrage a nun, and she struck him dead at her feet, 
being prepared, as all women were, for the German. 
She died herself almost instantly after, preferring, in 
her proud fashion, death by her own hand to dis- 
honour. 

Then, as now, the German punished vicariously. 
Her youngest brother, a boy of fifteen, was brought 
to the side of the dead nun, told of her splendid crime, 

and shot. M. d'A , then a prisoner of war at Mont 

Valerian, was sent for, and forced to bury his sister 
and brother in the little convent garden. On July 21, 
1914, he was planting flowers on the grave, and looking 
up casually he saw beside him, standing hand in hand, 
the dead nun and his murdered brother. They stood 
regarding him at first seriously, and their Ups moved — 
but he heard nothing. Then both smiled on him, and 
he thought they spoke the name of his elder son, who 
had just gone up for his service. Then something 
within him Bpoke distinctly and quietly for about five 
minutes, commanding him to go instantly to a certain 
friend of his, the commandant of a vitally important 
military centre, and tell him a certain thing concern- 
ing his -wife, a very beautiful Alsatian lady, but of 

German parentage. M. d'A was overcome with 

horror at the prospect of delivering this message, and 
while he protested dumbly the vision passed. Madame 
had insisted on the message being delivered and bad 
herself accompanied her husband to the Commandant. 
Instead of being furiously indignant, as they naturally 
expected, the Commandant was at first speechless, then 
questioned them closely till every word of the ghostly 






170 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

communication was in writing. When it waB finished 
he told them of a singular dream he had had, almost 

identical in detail with M. d'A 's vision. 

The sequel to this story is, the day before war was 
declared, the Commandant's wife disappeared and 
with her certain important papers. When she was 
found on the French frontier with these in her posses- 
sion, she believed she had stolen the plans for the 
French mobilization. But, as her husband explained 
to her in the brief interval before she paid the penalty 
exacted by France for espionage in high places or low, 
these plans had not been sent to him, but to his sub- 
ordinate, thanks to the warning conveyed by M. 

d'A . 

A Fulfilled Prevision 

In the following instance, the soldier's relative 
(aunt) seemingly had a premonition of her adopted 
son's safe return in health; it was accurately fulfilled. 
In this welter of tragedy, it is with pleasure that we 
are enabled to finish the chapter with a happy incident 
of this character. 

"A soldier who took part in the Dardanelles fight, 
ing was an orphan, and had been brought up by his 
aunt, to whom he was deeply attached. He wrote reg- 
ularly to her until one day she received a letter from 
the War Office, saying that he had been wounded and 
had a severe attack of dysentery as well. 

"Just then the fighting in Gallipoli became excep- 
tionally severe. No news was heard of him for several 
weeks. Nearly all his mates had been killed, until at 
last his aunt began to fear the worst, and gradually 
gave np all hope. She was nearly heart-broken, her 
affection for him was bo great. 









PROPHECIES AND PREMONITIONS 171 

"One morning, however, she came down to break- 
fast cheerful and happy. Questioned by her daughter, 
who could not understand this sudden change from 
her recent gloom and sadness, she replied: 

" 'I am happy because I know my boy is safe and 
well. I dreamt he came to my bedside last night, and 
said quite plainly, "Auntie, what are you fretting 
about! I'm quite all right." I saw him as clearly as 
I see you now, so I'm not going to worry any more.' 

"Curiously enough, the very next day she had a 
letter to say that her nephew was back in England, 
safe and well, though most of his pals had gone under. 
A few days later he came home on leave. 

" 'I had no means of writing to you, but kept hoping 
and hoping that you wouldn't fret about me,' he said. 
'Perhaps the fact that I was constantly wishing this 
had something to do with your dream.' " 



CHAPTER Vm 

APPARITIONS AND DREAMS OF SOLDIEBS 

I have previously pointed out the fact that appari- 
tions, occurring at the moment of the death, are fre- 
quent; and that the value of some of these cases is 
very great, in proving that something leaves man, at 
or about the moment of death, which is capable of 
manifesting itself at great distances, and hence is sep- 
arate or independent of the physical body. It would 
be possible to give a large number of cases of this char- 
acter, but space forbids. The following will at least 
serve as illustrative. I will begin with a case which 
occurred soon after the outbreak of the present war, 
and is given in Rosa Stuart's Dreams and Visions of 
the War. It is as follows : — 



A Vision Coinciding With Death 

A very touching story was told me by a Bournemouth 
wife. Her husband, a sergeant in the Devons, went to 
France on July 25, 1915. She had received letters 
regularly from him, all of which were very happy and 
cheerful, and so she began to be quite reassured in 
her mind about him, feeling certain that whatsoever 
danger he had to face he would come safely through. 

On the evening of September 25, 1915, at about 
ten o'clock, she was sitting on her bed in her room talk- 
ing to another girl, who was sharing it with her. The 






APPARITIONS OP SOLDIERS 



173 



light was full 011, and neither of them had as yet 
thought of getting into bed, so deep were they in their 
chat about the events of the day and the war. 

And then suddenly there came a silence. The wife 
had broken off sharply in the middle of a sentence and 
sat there staring into space. 

For, standing there before her in uniform, was her 
husbandl For two or three minutes she remained 
there looking at him, and she was struck by the expres- 
sion of sadness in his eye. Getting up quickly she ad- 
vanced to the spot where he was standing, but by the 
time she had reached it the vision had disappeared. 

Though only that morning the wife had had a letter 
saying her husband was safe and well, she felt sure 
that the vision foreboded evil. She was right. Soon 
afterwards she received a letter from the War Office, 
saying that he had been killed in the Battle of Loos 
on September 25, 1915, the very date she had seemed 
to see him stand beside her bed. 

For the next case I am indebted to the kindness of 
Mrs. Marie Russak-Hotchner. She has called the case 
that of — 

Private Rex 

One of the most remarkable stories was told me re- 
cently by a lieutenant who had been invalided home in 
Canada, a man of fine family and unquestionable 
veracity. The names I shall use in the story are fic- 
titious, but the real ones will be given privately if cor- 
roboration of the story is desired. 

Lieut. Smith was stationed in No-man's-land, and 
one evening was taking some of his men from one place 
to another. They were marching along, very fatigued, 



374 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

but undisturbed except from the usual dangers of dis- 
tant shell fire. 

Suddenly Lieut. Smith saw one of his men, Private 
Rex, begin to lag a little behind the rest, and judged 
that he might be ill. Watching him, he saw his pace 
continue to slacken until he was marching in line with 
himself. For a private to fall out and march beside 
his officer was, of course, unusual, and so the latter 
challenged the procedure. He asked the private if he 
were ill, but he replied in the negative ; he asked if he 
were cold, but the private again said "No." 

But Lieut. Smith clearly saw that something was 
wrong with the man, and he therefore stepped closer 
to him and asked him if he were hungry. The private 
replied, "A little." The officer had a package of 
malted milk tablets in hia .pocket, and gave him some. 
As he took them the officer noted that his hand was 
icy cold and that he was very pale. 

Jnst at that moment Lieut. Smith's attention was 
diverted by the necessity of giving some commands to 
his men and of walking to another position. When he 
returned to his former place, he observed that Private 
Rex was no longer there, but as there had not been 
time for him to return to his own squad, the officer 
thought he might have fallen because ill, or possibly 
because wishing to desert. So he halted the regiment, 
and went back some distance to look for the missing 
man. Thinking there was some trouble, a junior officer 
came running to Lieut. Smith to give him assistance. 
The latter told him how Private Rex had fallen out of 
his place, seeming to be ill, accepted the food tablets, 
and then suddenly disappeared, and the officer sug- 
gested that a search should be made for him. 

The junior officer, in great astonishment, replied 



e 

" 

8 

r 
e 






APPARITIONS OF SOLDIEES 



175 



that there must be some mistake, as Private Eex had 
been killed in battle and he had attended the burial 
three days previously. He also reminded Lieut. Smith 
that he also had been present. The lieutenant then 
recalled the fact which, because of the stress of subse- 
quent fighting and of the death of so many others, he 
had momentarily forgotten. 

But Lieut. Smith told the second officer, as he re- 
peated emphatically to me, that he had certainly seen, 
talked to, and touched Private Rex that evening; that 
it was Private Eex, and no other, who walked beside 
him ; that he knew him well, and that it was truly his 
icy hand into which he placed the tablet of food, and 
his pale face into which he had looked as he asked him 
the questions about his health. 

Lieut. Smith said that it was quite a common occur- 
rence for men in the war zone to see the ghosts of 
their comrades who had been killed. And he added, 
"It takes away all fear of death, for I know that Pri- 
vate Eex lives, though dead." 

The following group of eases are from the Journal 
of the English Society for Psychical Eesearch, and, it 
will be Been, are very well authenticated. They are 
(usually) preceded by editorial remarks by the editor, 
Mrs. Salter. The first case was published in the 
Journal for May-June, 1917. This is the incident: — 

A Dream Vision 

March 15, 1917. 

My son, Lieut. A L J , of the 1st King's 

Shropshire L. I., was killed at daybreak on Saturday, 
April 22nd, 1916. 



176 PSYCHICAL, PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

At daybreak on the next morning, Easter Sunday, 
about 24 hours after his death took place, when I was 
lying half awake and half asleep, I had the vision or 
dream, an account of which follows. 

I saw two soldiers in khaki, standing beside a pile 
of clothing and accoutrements which, in some way, I 
knew to be Alec's, and my first feeling was one of 
anger and annoyance that they should be meddling 
with his things, for they were apparently looking 
through them and arranging them. Then one of them 
took up a khaki shirt which was wrapped around some- 
thing so as to form a kind of roll. He took hold of one 
end of it and let the rest drop so as it unrolled Use] 
and a pair of heavy, extremely muddy boots fell out 
and banged heavily on the floor, and something else 
fell which made a metallic jingle. I thought "That is 
his revolver," but immediately afterwards thought 
"No, it is too light to be his revolver, which would 
have made more of a clang." 

Ab these things fell out on to the floor the two men 
laughed, but a sad wistful kind of laugh with no sem- 
blance of mirth in it. And then the words, "Alec is 
dead and they are going through his kit," were most 
clearly borne in on my mind. They were not spoken 
and I heard no voice, but they were just as clear as if I 
had done so. And then I became fully awake, these 
words repealing themselves in my mind and with the 
fullest conviction of their truth which I never lost. I 
suppose I still tried to persuade myself that it might 
not be true, but it was useless and when the official 
telegram arrived it only confirmed what I already 
knew. 



ne- 
me 
elf 

3Ut 

lse 
s 

: 

; 



APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 



177 



I In a letter of the same date, March 15, 1917, Dr. 
J adds the following' comments on his statement : 
. . . Two points have to be borne in mind in esti- 
mating the importance of the dream as an intimation 
of my son's death and not as a mere coincidence. 
(1) He went ont to the front in October, 1914, and 
was there continuously (with three short leaves) until 
his death on April 2'2, 1916 — Easter Saturday. Dur- 
ing these eighteen months I never had any dream or 
any impression of his being in serious danger, although 
I often knew that he was in the midst of hard fighting 

I and he was wounded in three places in August, 1915, 
at Hooge. 
(2) At the time when I had the dream I was under 
the impression that his battalion was resting and that 
they would not be in the fighting line until the middle 
of the week. Hence my mind was quite easy about 
him and I was not feeling at all anxious. In the ordi- 
nary course of events they were not due in the trenches 
until the Wednesday, but they were unexpectedly 
called upon on the evening of Good Friday to move up 

I at once to recapture a trench which had been taken by 
the Germans some days before. It was after having 
accomplished this, and whilst the position was being 
consolidated, that he was killed. 
I had never in my life had any dream so vivid as this 
one was, and when I saw in the Sunday papers that 
his battalion had accomplished this "fine feat," as 
they called it, I had no doubt whatever that my boy 
was dead. When the official telegram came on Wednes- 
day I felt that it was hardly necessary to open it. . . . 
I shall always think (as a nephew does to whom I 
told my dream on Sunday afternoon) that this vision 



178 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

was Alec's way of letting me know what had happened. 

A minor point that may be worth noticing is that 
when I heard the metallic clink when the shirt un- 
rolled and let its contents fall on the floor, I at first 
thought "That is his revolver," but then immediately 
thought the noise was too "jingly" to be made by the 
fall of a heavy Colt such as he had. When his things 
came home, however, I found that instead of a heavy 
Colt he had a light automatic pistol which, in falling, 
would have made exactly such a sound as I heard. 

I do not suppose that his kit was actually being gone 
through at the time of my dream, nor do I think that 
it makes much difference whether it was so or not. 
But the regimental eorgeon (since killed himself) who 
came to see me early in June told me that he believed 
that they really were going through Alec's things 
about the time of my dream. 

G J . 

In a subsequent letter he writes : 



March 25, 1917. 

. . . The only person whom I told the dream to, be- 
fore the arrival of the War Office telegram, was my 
nephew who was here on Sunday, the 23rd April 
(1916). 

I enclose the letter which he sent me when he had 
definite news of Alec's death. 

I also enclose a copy of part of a letter which the 
regimental surgeon (since killed) wrote to his father. 
I do this in order to show the conditions under which 
the attack was made, especially as to mud. 

One does not want to read too much into snch an 
experience, but I have often thought that what I saw 
had a certain amount of symbolism in it The fact that 



APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 



179 






ye: 



the boots which fell oat of the rolled-np shirt were so 
exceedingly muddy, and that the other thing which 
dropped out was, as I at first thought, his revolver, 
point to the terribly muddy condition of the attack, 
and to the fact that it was an attack, for otherwise the 
revolver would not have been carried. But this is a 
minor point. 

a — j — . 

The letter of Dr. J 's nephew, Mr. N. C. R , 

to which reference is made above, began as follows : 

May 4, 1916. 
I hear Alec has died at Ypres. Your dream has 
come true. Alec appears to have been trying to let 
you know. . . . 

N. C. R . 

The reference in the above letter to Dr. J 's 

dream implies that Mr. R had heard of it before 

he heard of Lieut. J 's death, but we asked also 

for an independent statement from Mr. R that Dr. 

J had related his dream to him on the day on 

which it occurred, April 23, 1916, before Dr. J 

himself knew of its verification. In reply Mr. R 

wrote as follows : 

April 3, 1917. 

I have been asked by my uncle, Dr. G J , to 

Bend you a statement to the effect that he told me of 
the dream or vision which he had of his son's death 
before actual confirmation. 

This I can do. 

I was spending the afternoon of Easter Sunday last 
year (April 23, 1916) at his house, and while at tea he 



■re. 
.to 
lect 
ftk- 



180 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

came in from paying a professional visit somewhere. 

After tea he spoke to me of his dream. I regret 
say I cannot remember all he said, but I do recoil* 
his saying he saw two officers looking over and pack- 
ing his son's kit. He was angry at their meddling, but 
it suddenly dawned upon him that his son was dead. 
Whether A J appeared in the dream I forget. 

Some days afterwards I heard that A J was 

dead, confirmation having reached him, Dr. J , on 

a date after the 23rd ApriL 

N. C. E . 



As regards the circumstances under which Lieut. 

J lost his life we print below extracts from the 

letter to which Dr. J— refers on March 25, writti 
by the regimental surgeon : 

April 27, 1916. 

. . . You will have seen by the papers about the gal- 
lant attack the Btn. made the other night to retake 
some trenches lost by another Btn. It was as the Army 
Commander said, "A magnificent feat of arms," and 
you can guess what the higher command thought of 
it when they honoured the regiment by mentioning 
them by name — an honour which has only been paid 
twice ail the time out here. Unless one is on the spot, 
though, one could not realize the conditions under 
which the attack was made or the apparently hopeless 
job it seemed. I don't think any other Bin. could have 
done it. The mud, to take one point only, was so deep 
that the men had to throw themselves down and crawl 
— putting their rifles and bombs ahead a few feet and 
then struggling up to them. Of course the rifles were 
bo covered with mud that they could not shoot, so the 
men jnst struggled on until they could use the bayom 



en 



APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 



181 



We had men utterly engulfed in the mud and Buffo- 
cated. It was a glorious achievement, and the cost 

was heavy. . . . J —who used to write "At the 

Front" in Punch — was shot through the heart gal- 
lantly superintending his company consolidating the 
captured position. As dawn hroke he was so busy with 
bo much to see to, that he would not take cover, but 
kept walking from end to end of the trench over the 
top to save time. He was picked off by a sniper. 

T.I. 

In a letter to Dr. J from one of Lieut. S *8 

fellow-officers, giving an account of his death, the 
muddy condition of the ground is again emphasized. 
He writes: 

May 7, 1916. 
. . As you know the conditions were simply awful. 
Pitch dark, and wading up to our waists in mud. . . . 

It appears from the evidence given above that at 

the time when Dr. J had the dream whioh he 

regarded as an intimation of his son's death, Lieut. 

J had been dead about twenty-four hours. It 

is a strong point in favour of the assumption that 
some other factor than chance-coincidence was in- 
volved, that during the year and a half that his son 

had been at the front Dr. J had had no other 

similar impression about him, and that on April 23, 

1916, he had reason to believe that Lieut. J waB 

temporarily out of danger. 

If it is the fact that Lient. J 's kit was being 

examined about the time of Dr. J 's dream, it 

may be that he received an impression of an actual 
Bcene which took place. But it seems more probable, 
le suggests, that the dream was a piece of symbolic 



182 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND TilE WAR 

imagery representing the fact, telepathically conveyed 
to him, that his son had been killed in the attack on the 
previous day. 

We are indebted to Dr. J for the trouble he 

has taken in providing us with evidence for which we 
asked. 

Another Dream Vision 

The next case was published in the S. P. R. Journal, 
July, 1916. The editor wTiteB :— 

The following case was first brought to our notice 
by a paragraph in the daily press on June 6, 1916, in 
which it was stated that: 

The sister of Seaman George William M , o! 

Peterborough, one of the men who went down with 
Queen Mary, had a realistio dream last Wednesday 
(the day the Queen Mary was lost). She was lying ill 
in bed when she thought that her brother came to her 
bedside, and although she spoke to him repeatedly he 
would not answer. Ho appeared quite well and happy. 

Subsequently, in reply to enquiries, we received the 
following account from the percipient, Mrs. B : 

June 19, 1916. 
... In reference to my dream — as it was published 
in the papers, but it was not a dream, it was a vision. 
I was very ill at the time. It was the afternoon of the 
day of the battle that I saw my brother. I was taken 
worse and thought I was going to die. I was with my 
brother on his ship and thought he was so happy and 
singing, and then it changed and he was at home on 
leave. I thought I repeatedly spoke to him each time 
but he did not speak to me. I knew I was ill, and 
thought he would not speak to me because I was dis- 






APPARITIONS OP SOLDIEBS 



183 






figured. I asked my mother if he had gone back and 
she said he had not been home. I said I knew he had, 
it seemed so real. I was very much upset because he 
would not speak to me. I did uot hear of the sinking 
of the Queen Mary until a week after, as I was too ill 
for my mother to tell me. ... It would he just about 
the time when the ship went down that I saw my 
brother, as it was late in the afternoon on Wednesday, 
May 31. 

Oh June 29, 1916, the Secretary of the S. P. R. went 

to Peterborough and called upon Mrs. B and her 

mother, Mrs. M , who kindly answered all the ques- 
tions she put to them. Their evidence, as noted, sum- 
marized by the Secretary at the time, and confirmed 
by their signatures, was as follows: 

On May 31 Mrs. B was suffering from erysipe- 
las, and had been ill from the previous Friday. About 
5 o'clock in the afternoon she "felt something snap 
inside her, and part of herself seemed to have gone 
out of her; she thought she was dying." Then she 
seemed to be on a ship, or very near it ; she could see 
the sailors moving about, and heard them singing; they 
were very happy. She Bpoke to her brother on the 
Bhip; he wouldn't answer. She called for a scarf he 
had given her, so that she could hide her face, as she 
was disfigured. Then the scene changed, she was at 
home, her brother was at home, she spoke to him, but 
he wouldn't answer. She cried, thinking it was be- 
cause she was disfigured. The vision went. She was 
still very much upset because he wouldn't speak to 
her. She asked her mother if her brother had gone 
back. 



184 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

She had never had a vision or a dream of this kind 
before. 

(Signed) F E B— 

June 29, 1916. 

Mrs. M said her daughter had been "light- 
headed on and off" during her illness, but that at tho 
time of the vision Bhe seemed "listless and blank." 

The news of the Naval Battle, including the an- 
nouncement of the loss of H. M. S. Queen Mary, was 
published on Saturday morning, June 3, 1916. In the 
casualty list, which appeared a few days later (onr 
reference is the Daily Telegraph, June 8), the name of 

G. W. M , A.B., was included in the crew of the 

Queen Mary. 

It is stated in Admiral Sir John Jelliooe's de- 
spatch on the battle published in the press, July 7, 
1916, that the action began at 3.8 P. M. (Greenwich 
mean time) on May 31; and, in the various reports by 
observers, that the Queen Mary sank soon afterwards. 
In an article in the Daily Telegraph on June 6, Mr. 
Hurd, indicating approximately the course which the 
battle took, says : 

Quite early in the action the Queen Mary, by an un- 
fortunate mischance, or good German gunnery, was 
bit, and sank in a few minutes. ... It should be em- 
phasized that this misfortune occurred almost imme- 
diately after the action opened. 

Thus, it will be observed that the coincidence in time 
between the hallucination, which occurred about 5 
P. M., summer time, and the death of Seaman G. W. 

M , which occurred soon after 4.48, summer time, 

was very close. 






APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 



185 



It is chiefly owing to this coincidence in time that we 
print the case, contrary to our practice of excluding 
hallucinations occurring during illness where delirium 
is present. The evidence is further strengthened by 
the following considerations: (1) the hallucination 
seems to have been the only one winch assumed defi- 
nite form during the illness; (2) it was certainly the 
only one described by the percipient during this time; 
and (3) it was unique in her experience. 

These points will be apparent from the evidence on 
(he medical aspect of the case, kindly contributed, in 
answer to our enquiries, by Dr. H. L , of Peter- 
borough, who was attending the percipient. The ques- 
tions which were put to him are given below in square 
brackets : 

[How long was the percipient delirions and was the 
delirium intermittent?] 

From Monday night, May 29, until the end of the 
week. Yes; she appeared to ramble and say "queer 
things" (the mother's report to me) only at night. In 
the morning or afternoon when I saw her she seemed 
clear in her mind. 

[Was this particular hallucination described to you 
before the news of the Naval Battle on May 31 was 
known to the public!] 

I cannot fix the day, but I can say positively that I 

was told of it, both by Mrs. M and Mrs. B , 

long before the latter had any information of the 

Naval Battle or the death of young M . Mrs. 

B did not know anything about the Naval Battle, 

etc., until a full week after it had occurred, as I gave 
strict orders that she was not to be told. About a week 
after the Battle, say "Wednesday, June 7, she picked up 
a paper within her reach and saw the list of officers 






186 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

and men on the Queen Mary. It was many days before 
this that I was informed of the vision, both by the 
mother and Mrs B . 

Later, Dr. L wrote as follows : 

June 15, 1916. 

My distinct impression is that the hallucination was 

mentioned to Mrs. M before the Naval Battle 

was known of. But I really cannot fix the date when it 
was told to me. All I can say is that, when I was told 

of the hallucination, I questioned Mrs. B , and she 

told me quite simply that she bad seen her brother on 
the deck of his ship, that he looked quite as usual, but 
never spoke a word. She told mc this many days be- 
fore Bhe knew of the Battle, but I cannot fix the date. 

[Were any other hallucinations described to yoo 
during the illness! And have you heard of any ex- 
periences of the same kind that Mrs. 13 ever had?] 

No, only that she said such "queer things." 

I am quite sure that neither Mrs. M nor Mrs. 

B have ever had any other previous experience 

of the kind. They took no interest in the subject when 
I was first informed of it, which was early, and long 
before anything appeared in the papers. 

(Signed) H. L , M. B. (Edin.), eta. 

A Curious Apparition 

The next incident appeared in the Journal, Feb- 
ruary-March, 1917. Editorially, Mrs. Salter writes :- 

We print below a report of an apparition seen by 
Mrs. S. J , living at Enfield, Gateshead, of her son- 
in-law, Lieut. G. E. B , Durham Light Infantry, 

shortly after he had been wounded in France, but be- 
fore any news of his being wounded had reached his 
family. 






APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 



is? 



It will be observed that Mrs. J did not mention 

her experience to any one until after she knew of its 
veridical character but we have been able by means of 
certain corroborative evidence to establish a very 

strong probability that Mrs. J 's recollection of 

what took place is substantially accurate. Under these 
circumstances we feel justified in putting the case on 
record, all the more that it presents one curious fea- 
ture which will interest all who concern themselves 
with the psychological peculiarities of these phe- 
nomena. 

Our earliest information was contained in a letter 

from Lieut. B , as follows: 

November 2, 1916. 

The following presents an unusual feature to me — 
but possibly you can explain it. 

My age is 34. 

I was wounded in France July 24th, 1916, 3.30 p. m. 

Between 1 and 2 a. m., July 26th, 1916, I appeared 

to Mrs. S. J (my wife's mother) at this address, 

waking her from sleep. 

The physical appearance corresponded with that of 
a photo taken whe*n I was three years old — the head 
was bandaged, showing only forehead, eyes, nose, 
mouth, and a little of the chin. 

Except for the age and apparent height (only head 
was seen clearly) — this was the condition I was in, and 
I was in a hospital at Boulogne — to the best of my 
recollection asleep, and of course with 2 days ' growth 
of beard. 

The apparition was taken for my son "in the flesh" 
at first and was asked what was the matter. Mrs. 
J then recognized me — I smiled and vanished. 






188 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAK 

The War Office telegram announcing the casualty 
was received at 9 p. m., July 26th. 

Mrs. J did not know me until I was about 19 — 

at which time and ever since I have had a small mous- 
tache — and she always thinks of me as grown up — 
never as a child. In these circumstances, can you ex- 
plain why I should appear as a child and not in my 
most easily recognizable form * 

That I appeared to Mrs. J I can understand as 

she is more psychic than my wife. 

E. M. J . 

In reply to this letter we wrote to Lieut. B ai 

ing for a detailed report by Mrs. J herself and a 

corroborative statement, if obtainable, from some per- 
son to whom she had related her experience before the 
news came that Lieut. B was wounded. We re- 
ceived an answer from Mrs. B as follows : 



November 5, 1916. 

My husband has just returned to duty. ... I en- 
close a full account written by Mrs. J , of her ex- 
perience of July 26th. This corresponds with her de- 
scription to me on August 5th. 

I see that it is unfortunate, from the point of view 
of "evidence," that she told no one before this date. 
I can only say that as far as we ourselves are con- 
cerned, this makes no difference, as we do not admit 
the possibility of her altering the facts, even involun- 
tarily. She is particularly clear-headed and well- 
balanced, and when relating one or two similar experi- 
ences, I have never known her to vary in the accounts 
in the slightest degree. 

I am not surprised that my husband should app 



APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 189 

to her, — they have often discussed such things, and 
are much in sympathy — though the "least-familiar" 
form has puzzled us all. . . . 

Mabgabkt E. B . 

{Statement by Mrs. J , enclosed in Mrs. B '» 

letter of November 5, 1916.) 

During the early morning of Wednesday, July 26th, 
1916, I woke from sleep, with the idea that some one 
was in my room. I opened my eyes to absolute dark- 
ness, but at the right Bide of my bed stood a misty 
figure, which I at first took for my little grandson, and 
I asked him why he was there. No answer came, bnt 
the face became more distinct, and I saw it resembled 
a photograph of my son-in-law, taken when he was 
about three years old. In the photograph one can see 
short ourls, but in my vision the lower part of the 
forehead, eyebrows, eyes, nose, month and part of chin 
and neck were hidden by white wrappings. As I looked 
and wondered, the mouth expanded into a smile, and 
the appearance vanished, the room being still in dark- 
ness. My grandson bad not been quite well the pre- 
vious day, and my first thought was to go and see if 
he were worse, but as I knew his mother had settled 
to sleep in his room, I decided not to risk alarming 
her. 

I did not mention the occurrence to any one, as we 
only had servants in the house, and naturally I did not 
want to say anything to my daughter at once. I made 
up my mind to wait until she had had a letter from 
her husband of later date than July 26th, and then tell 
her how anxious I had felt. 

The W. O. wire came on the evening of July 26th, 
and in the rush and hurry of her departure I had no 



190 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

chance to tell her until she came home on August £ 
for a couple of nights, leaving her husband in the hos- 
pital. When I described what I had seen, she told me 
that his head and neck were bandaged in that way. 

I could understand his appearing to me as he looks 

normally, as we had been great friends, and I have 

made my home with them for some years. The puzzle 

is why he should appear to me as a young child. 

E M. J- 

For the next cases I am indebted to M. Flammarion. 



A Dream Vision 

"It was during the great war, my fiance was a sol- 
dier in the Army of the Rhine — if I do not mistake — 
and for a long time we had had no news of him. Dur- 
ing the night of the 23d of August I had a singular 
dream which tormented me, but to which I did not at- 
tach much importance. I found myself in a hospital 
ward, in the midst of which was a kind of a table on 
which my fiance was lying. His right arm was bare, 
and a severe wound could be seen near the right shoul- 
der; two physicians, a Sister of Charity, and myself 
were near him. All at once he looked at me with his 
large eyes, and said to me: 'Do you still love met' 
Some days later I learned from the mother of my 
fiance that he had been mortally wounded in the right 
shoulder, and that he had died on the 23d of August 
A Sister of Charity who had nursed him was the first 
person to tell us of his death. The impression is still 
as vivid in my mind as though I had dreamed it only 
yesterday." 






APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 



191 



A Vision of Death 

"My uncle was sergeant in the Second Regiment of 
Infantry when war was declared. He fought in the 
first battles > was taken prisoner to Mayenoe, and thence 
to Torgau, where he remained nine or ten months. 

"On Low Sunday, one of his comrades invited him 
to go into towu in the afternoon. He preferred to re- 
main in camp in his casemate, saying to his friend that 
he was not in good spirits, but not knowing himself 
what his sadness could be attributed to. Being left 
alone, or almost alone, he threw himself, entirely 
dressed, npon his bed, and slept profoundly. As soon 
as he was asleep it seemed to him that he was in his 
father's house, and that his mother was dying on a 
bed. He saw his aunts caring for his mother until she 
died, about three o'clock. Then he awoke, and found 
that it had been only a dream. 

"When his friend returned at six o'clock in the eve- 
ning he told him what he had seen during his sleep, and 
he added : 'I am convinced that my mother died today 
about three o'clock.' 

"He was laughed at for this idea, but a letter re- 
ceived from his brother confirmed the sad news. 

' ' I think I ought to add that the dead woman was in 
a dying state about three o'clock." 



Apparition Seen by a Child 

"On May 31, my eldest son, who had enlisted as a 
volunteer Bix months before, at Valence, in the First 
Hussars, was taking part in the military manoeuvres 
in the country, which were shared in by his regiment. 
Being the foremost man of the advance guard, he was 
riding slowly, observing the country occupied by the 



192 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAK 

enemy, when suddenly, out of an ambush formed on 
the edge of a narrow part of the road, came a shot 
whieh struck my unhappy son full in the breast. His 
death was almost immediate. 

"The involuntary author of this fatal accident, see- 
ing his comrade drop his reins and fall forward on the 
neck of his horse, rushed forward to help him, and he 
heard the words the dying man uttered with his last 
sigh: 'You have done me an ill turn; . . . but I for- 
give you. . . . For God and our country always! . . . 
Present!'. . . and so he died. 

"Now, this same day, May 13, about half past nine 
in the evening, while my wife was bustling about her 
household affairs, our little girl, then about two-and-a- 
half years old, came up to her mother and said, in her 
baby-talk: 'Mamma, look godpapa' (my eldest was 
his sister's god-father); 'see mamma — see godpapal 
I am playing with him!' 

" 'Yes, yes, my darling, play away,' said her mother, 
busy and attaching no importance to the words of the 
child. 

"But the little thing, hurt by her mother's indiffer- 
enoe, insisted on attracting her attention, and went on : 
' But, mamma, come and look at godpapa. . . . Look at 
him — there he isl Oh, how smartly he is dressed 1' 

"Then my wife remarked that as the child spoke she 
became, so to speak, transfigured. She was excited by 
this at first, but soon forgot what had passed. It lasted 
only a few moments, and it was not until two or three 
days later that she remembered these details. 

"A little before noon we received a telegram telling 
ub of the terrible accident which had befallen our be- 
loved son, and subsequently I learnt d that his death 
took place almost at eight o'clock." 



APPARITIONS OF SOL1HKBS 



Vision Coinciding With Death 

"Mezieres, my native village, had been destroyed by 
a bombardment which lasted only thirty-sis hours, bat 
made many victims. Among those was the little 
daughter of our landlord, who was cruelly wounded. 
She was eleven or twelve years of age. At that time 
I was fifteen, and very often played with Leontine — 
that was her name. 

"About the beginning of March I went to pass a few 
days at Domohery. Before I left home I knew that the 
poor little thing could never get better, but change of 
place and boyish carelessness made me forget by de- 
grees the sorrows I had witnessed and the terrible 
scenes I had been through. I slept by myself in a long 
narrow room, the window of which looked out into the 
country. One evening, when I had gone to bed as 
usual at nine o'clock, I could not sleep, which was 
something remarkable, for as soon as dinner was over 
I could usually have slept standing. The moon was 
full and very bright. It lit up the garden and threw a 
strong ray of light into my chamber. 

"As I could not go to sleep I listened to the town 
clock striking the hours, which seemed to me. very 
long. I gazed steadily at the window, which was jnst 
opposite my bed, and at half-past twelve I thought I 
saw a ray of moonshine moving slightly, then a 
shadowy, luminous form floated past, at first Uke a 
great white robe, then it took a bodily shape, and, com- 
ing up to my bed, stood there Bmiling at me. I uttered 
a cry of 'Leontinel' Then the bright shade, gliding 
as before, disappeared from the foot of my bed. 

"Some days later I went home, and before any one 
had spoken to me of Leontine, I told them my vision. 






194 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 



On the day and in the hour when she appeared to me 
the poor child had died." 

The following case is from The Unknown. We ma; 
call it— 



Physical Phenomena at Death 



"My grandparents lived on a country place at Saint 
Menrice, near Rochelle. 

"My father, the eldest of his family, had heen a sub- 
lieutenant in Algeria, where he had paBsed ten years 
of danger and fatigue in the first years of the conquest. 

"Enthusiasm for danger, and the Bpirit roused by 
the accounts contained in his letters, inspired his 
brother Camille with a wish to join him. He disem- 
barked at Algiers, as a non-commissioned officer, in 
April, soon after joined my father at Oran, and took 
part in an expedition against Abd-el-Kader at the end 
of June. 

"The French were obliged to retreat on Arzew, and 
lost many men in crossing the swamps of Macta. My 
uncle received three gun-shot wounds, though not se- 
vere ones. But in a bivouac, a French soldier cleaning 
his gun let it go off, and his ball struck my uncle in the 
thigh. He had to submit to an operation. When it was 
over he died of a spasmodic seizure. 

"Communication in those days was slow with Al- 
geria, and my grandmother had heard none of these 
tilings. According to a very common fashion at this 
period, Bhe had on the chimney-piece of her reception- 
room, au premier, a very handsome coffee-set of porce- 
lain, arranged for ornament. 

"Suddenly, in broad daylight, there was a tremen- 
dous crash in the room. 

"My grandmother and her maid rushed up, and 



it 



APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 



195 



great was their astonishment at the spectacle that 
awaited them. All the pieces that composed the coffee- 
service lay in fragments on the floor in a heap on one 
side of the chimney, as if they had been swept up in 
that direction. My grandmother was terrified, and 
felt sure that some misfortune was at hand. 

"The room was carefully searched, but none of the 
suggestions made to my grandmother, in hopes of re- 
assuring her, seemed to her admissible — a gust of 
wind, a rush of rats, or a cat shut up in the room by 
some mischance, etc . . . The apartment had been 
completely closed, so that there could have been no 
current of air. Neither cat nor rats would have broken 
the china, and then gathered into one heap on the floor 
the fragments of a service that had been set out all 
along the chimney-piece. 

1 ' There was no one in the house but my grandfather, 
grandmother, and their maid. 

"The first post from Africa brought news to my 
grandparents of the death of their son, which hap- 
pened on the very day the coffee-set was broken." 

The following incident was widely commented upon, 
soon after its publication. It appeared, I believe, in 
one form or another in several British papers; but I 
take the account from Stuart's Dreams and Visions of 
the War, as there given ; — 






An Apparition in the Trenches 

"The Colonel of a well-known regiment that had 
been in the thick of the fighting ever since the com- 
mencement of the war, was simply idolized by the men 
who fought under him, and there was great grief 



196 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE "WAB 

amongst them when he was so badly wounded that he 
had to give up his command in France, a grenade hav- 
ing deprived him of an arm. 

"After a few months at home the Colonel who had 
meanwhile been fitted with an artificial arm, thought 
he was well enough to rejoin hiB regiment. But he was 
told that this was impossible, and the command of a 
garrison battalion leaving for the Dardanelles was 
offered him instead. 

"Being a man of action he accepted this new com- 
mand rather than remain idle, and so, though his heart 
was with his old regiment in Flanders, he set out for 
Lemnos to take up his new post there. 

"But before very long he contracted a severe at- 
tack of dysentery, and once more had to be invalided 
home. He reached England all right ; but in the hos- 
pital train on his way to London he breathed his last. 

"And now comes the curious part of the story. At 
the very moment of his death in the hospital train, the 
Colonel appeared to his old regiment in the trenches 
in Flanders, in broad daylight, when every man was 
at his post. 

" 'Why, here's Colonel 1 I didn't know he was 

back,' remarked the Company Sergeant-Major to the 
Company Commander, as he pointed out the well- 
known figure of their old chief, standing there before 
them. The Company Commander sprang forward to 
greet him, but before he reached his side the appari- 
tion had disappeared. 

"And the Colonel was not only seen by these two, 
but by nearly all his men, who apeak with bated breath 
of their experience to this day, 

"For at the time he appeared to them in the trenches 
in Flanders they had thought he was still at LamnoB ; 



e 

i 

t 
s 

; 

i 



APPARITIONS OP SOLDIERS 197 

though when they realized the nature of the appari- 
tion they were filled with misgivings. These misgivings 
were only too well confirmed a week later, when the 
mail arrived bringing the news of his death." 

A Fallen Soldier Returns 

The following case was published in the Harbinger 
of Liyht, November, 1916 : — 

St. Matthew's, Albury, 
Sept. 20, 1916. 
Sir:— 

I had to convey the news of the death of a soldier in 
France to his parents here only last night. As I ex- 
pected, it was a most painful duty. The mother was 
half demented, and one of the deceased soldier's sis- 
ters went into a succession of fainting fits. I mention 
this, which ia common enough these dreadful times, to 
emphasize the comparative equanimity of the father, 
which was obvious, almost at once, though, we could 
see, he was greatly moved. 

Later on he said to me, "I knew it, Sir, before you 
came inl" 

"When he had time to speak he told me he saw his Bon 
about a fortnight ago. He had been thinking of the 
lad, and could not sleep. Towards morning he got up, 
and after putting on some clothing he went to the door 
leading on to the veranda, and, lifting the latch, 
looked out. The sky was just, paling before sunrise, 
and in the dim light he saw his son quite plainly — he 
was in uniform, was not facing his father directly, but 
turned away, and was looking at the latter over his 
shoulder and smiling. 

"Just like he always did — he was always smiling 






198 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAE 

some way!" I quote the father's words. He laid stress 
on the smile, which was evidently a habit of his son's, 
and marked his identity. After telling me this, he 
called another son who was looking after his mother, 
and asked the former to tell me the story in corrobora- 
tion, which he did, stating that his father told the fam- 
ily the same day that he had seen his son, and that 
they might expect a letter next mail. This he said, 
lest they should be anxious, though in his own mind 
the father told me he concluded his son had passed. 

I only note that the family are ordinary labouring 
class— very respectable people, earning good wages 
and comfortably situated, not at all very religious or 
sentimental, but evidently very united and affection- 
ate. The father is about forty-five years of age, and 
there are several children. 

I had not much time to enquire about details, as my 
mission as comforter took precedence of all else; but 
though I cannot, without their permission, mention the 
name of the bereaved family, you are at perfect lib- 
erty to use my name and this communication for any 
purpose you think best. 

Faithfully yours, 

F. Bevan, 
(Rector and Canon). 



Sympathy Between Twins 

There is a popular belief that between twins there 
exists at times an affinity which surpasses the normal 
The following experience of twin brothers, while both 
were engaged in serving their country, would seem to 
indicate that there are grounds for this belief. 

A certain corporal, why was with his regiment at 



APPAB1TI0NS OP SOLDIERS 



190 






a home station, had been very anxious for some time 
about his twin brother who was fighting in France. He 
bad not heard from him for some weeks, and as he 
had been a fairly regular correspondent, this worried 
him a great deal. 

One night he was awakened from a deep sleep by 
the sound of his name being spoken ; lie sat up in bed 
and listened, but the call was not repeated. 

And then, as he looked across the room, in the semi- 
darkness he saw quite plainly bis brother sitting on 
bis trunk, which was near the door. Too surprised to 
pause to reason how he could have got there, the cor- 
poral jumped quickly out of bed to greet him, but as 
he approached the spot the apparition had vanished. 
All the rest of the night he tossed and turned in his 
bed, for he could not sleep. He had the feeling that 
his brother was in danger. Next morning he related 
his experience to his landlady, and also mentioned it 
to hia mother when he wrote home. As at the time he 
was suffering from dyspepsia and overstrain his 
friends put the vision down to "nerves." They were 
of very different opinion, however, when a few days 
later the corporal received a field postcard from his 
brother, stating that he had been wounded at the Bat- 
tle of Loos, at the very hour when he had seemed to 
see him sitting on the box in his room. 

The following incident was published in the January, 
1918, number of the Psychical Research Review, and 
is somewhat different from the usual type of story of 
this character, — inasmuch as the soldier apparently 
appeared to a dying sister, while he himself was alive 
and well, though asleep, in Prance. The name and 



200 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 



address of the communicator, though not publisbet 
here, is known to me. I have called it: 



A Soldier Returns 

In her country home surrounded by loving ones a 
young woman lay dying of that dread disease, con- 
sumption. Her eldest brother had enlisted when tl 
first call for soldiers had come and was now "Somi 
where in France." When he left home she had been 
indisposed but no one thought that in a few short weeks 
her young life would be ended. But the progress of 
the disease was rapid and she was soon near the gateB 
of eternity. 

During her entire illness she had almost daily ex- 
pressed a deBire that she might be able to see her 
brother once more, but it seemed that her wish was to 
be denied. And yet on this beautiful Autumn morn- 
ing she surprised her parents by stating that duri: 
the night her brother had come to her and that she w: 
now ready to go. 

Those who were gathered around her bod tried 
tell her she had evidently dreamed he was there. Bi 
to them she replied, *'No, I did not dream it. I was not 
asleep but as wide awake as I am now, I saw him 
plainly, in his soldier clothes, as he stood by my bed. 
To me he said, 'I knew you wanted me, Sis, so I have 
come. I cannot stay long. I must soon return. Do 
not fear, some day we'll be together forever. There 
will be no seas to separate us then. Until that time, 
Good-bye,' " and he faded away. 

A few hours later and her form was stilled forever. 
Who shall say she did not see himt Perhaps by some 
means as yet unknown to science, she was enabled 



m- 

le- 
en 



1 



APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 



201 






to see what we shall call, for lack of a better name, The 
Shadow Form of her brother and hear his voice, when 
other eyes were blind to the vision and other ears deaf 
to his voice. Who knows 1 

A Remarkable Apparition 

The next incident is given by Mr. R. D. Owen; and 
though it is older tUan those just quoted, is well worth 
publication, because of the excellence of the evidence 
it presents. Mr. Owen writes: — 

"For the following narrative I am indebted to the 
kindneas of London friends. Of the good faith of the 
narrators there cannot be a doubt. 

"In the month of September, Captain G. W., of the 
6th Dragoon Guards, went out to India to join his 
regiment. His wife remained in England, residing at 
Cambridge. On the night between the 14th and the 
15th of November, towards morning, she dreamed that 
she saw her husband, looking anxious and ill, upon 
which she immediately awoke, much agitated. It was 
bright moonlight; and looking up, she perceived the 
same figure standing by her bedside. He appeared in 
his uniform, the hands pressed across the breast, the 
hair dishevelled, the face very pale. His large dark 
eyes were fixed full upon her; their expression was 
that of great excitement, and there was a peculiar con- 
traction of the mouth, habitual to him when he was 
agitated. She saw him, even to each minute particular 
of his dress, as distinctly as she had ever done in her 
life; and she remembers to have noticed between his 
hands the white of the shirt-bosom, unstained, how- 
ever, with blood. The figure seemed to bend forward, 
as if in pain, and to make an effort to speak; but there 



202 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

was no sound. It remained visible, the wife thinks, 
as long as a minute, and then disappeared. 

"Her first idea was to ascertain if she was actually 
awake. She rubbed her eyes with the sheet, and felt 
that the touch was real. Her little nephew was in bed 
with her: she bent over the sleeping child, and listened 
to its breathing; the sound was distinct; and she be- 
came convinced that what she had seen was no dream. 
It need hardly he added that she did not go to sleep 
again that night. 

"Next morning she related all this to her mother, 
expressing her conviction, though she had noticed no 
marks of blood on his dress, that Captain W. was 
either killed or grievously wounded. So fully im- 
pressed was Bhe with the reality of the apparition that 
she thenceforth refused all invitations. A young friend 
urged her, soon afterwards, to go to a fashionable con- 
cert, reminding her that she bad received from Malta, 
sent by her husband, a handsome dress cloak, which 
she had never yet worn. But she positively declined, 
declaring that, uncertain that she was not already a 
widow, she would never enter a place of amusement 
until she had letters from her husband (if, indeed he 
still lived) of later date than the 14th of November. 

"It was on a Tuesday, in the month' of December, 
that the telegram regarding the actual fate of Captain 
W. was published in London. It was to the effect that 
he was killed ... on the fifteenth of November. 

"This news, given in the morning paper, attracted 
the attention of Mr. "Wilkinson, a London solicitor, 
who had in charge Captain W.'s affairs. When, at a 
later period, this gentleman met the widow, she in- 
formed him that she had been quite prepared for the 
melancholy news, but that she felt sure that her has- 






APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 



203 






band could not have been killed on the 15th of Novem- 
ber, inasmuch as it was during the night between the 
14th and 15th that he appeared to her.' 

"The certificate from the "War Office, however, 
which it became Mr. Wilkinson's duty to obtain, con- 
firmed the date given in the telegram, its tenor being 
as follows: — ■ 

** 'Was Office. 
January 30(fc. 

" 'These are to certify that it appears, by the rec- 
ords in this office, that Captain O. W., of the 6th Dra- 
goon Guards (a mistake, as Mr. Dale Owen points out, 
for 6th Inniskilling Dragoons), was killed in action No- 
vember 15th. 

(Signed) " 'B. Hawes.' 

"While Mr. Wilkinson's mind remained in uncer- 
tainty as to the exact date, a remarkable incident oc- 
curred, which seemed to cast further suspicion on the 
accuracy of the telegram and of the certificate. That 
gentleman was visiting a friend, whose lady had all 
her life had perception of apparitions, while her hus- 
band is what is usually called an impressible medium ; 
facts which are known, however, only to their intimate 
friends. Though personally acquainted with them, 
I am not at liberty to give their names. Let us call 
them Mr. and Mrs. N. 

■ The difference of longitude between London and Lucknow being 
about five hours, 3 or 4 o'clock run. in London would be 8 or 9 
o'clock a.m. at Lucknow. But it was in the afternoon, not in the 
morning, as will be seen in the sequel, that Captain W. was killed. 
Had he fallen on the 15th, therefore, the apparition to his wife 
would have appeared several hours before the engagement in which 
be fell, and while be was yet alive and well. 






204 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

"Mr. Wilkinson related to them, as a wonderful cir- 
cumstance, the vision of the Captain's widow in con- 
nection with his death, and described the figure as it 
had appeared to her. Mrs. N. turning to her husband 
instantly said: — 

' ' * T-hat must be the very person I saw the evening we 
were talking of India, and you drew an elephant with 
a howdah on his back. Mr. Wilkinson has described 
his exact position and appearance; the uniform of a 
British officer, his hands pressed across his breast, his 
form bent forward as if in pain. 'The figure,' she 
added to Mr. W., 'appeared just behind my husband, 
and seemed looking over his left shoulder.' " 

{Mr. and Mrs. N., who were Spiritualists, then ob- 
tained what purported to be a message from their 
strange visitant, saying that he had been killed that 
afternoon by a wound in the breast; but the message 
may perfectly well have been the automatic result of 
their own ideas; as it contained nothing beyond what 
they might have guessed from the nature of the ap- 
parition. This occurred at 9 in the evening; and the 
date was fixed as the fourteenth of November, by the 
date on a bill which was receipted, as it was remem- 
bered, on the same evening.) 

"This confirmation of the widow's conviction as to 
the day of her husband's death produced so much im- 
pression on Mr. Wilkinson that he called at the office 
of Messrs. Cox and Greenwood, the army agents, to 
ascertain if there was no mistake in the certificate. 
But nothing there appeared to confirm any surmise of 
inaccuracy. Captain W.'s death was mentioned in 
two separate despatches . . . and in both the date cor- 
responded with that gives in the U'lcgram. 

"So matters rested, until, in the month of March, 






APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 



205 



the family of Captain W. received from Captain G. C, 
then of the Military Train, a letter dated near Luck- 
now, on the 19th of December. This letter informed 
them that Captain W. had been killed before Luck- 
now, while gallantly loading on a squadron, not on 
the 15th of November, as reported in the official des- 
patches, but on the fourteenth in the afternoon. Cap- 
tain C. was riding close by his side at the time he Baw 
him fall. He was struck by a fragment of shell in the 
breast, and never spoke after he was hit. He was 
buried at the Dilkoosha ; and on a wooden cross erected 
by his friend, Lieutenant R., of the 9th Lancers, at the 
head of his grave, are cut the initials G. W., and the 
date of his death, the 14th of November.* 

"The War Office finally made the correction as to 
the date of death, but not until more than a year after 
the event occurred. Mr. Wilkinson, having occasion 
to apply for an additional copy of the certificate in 
April, found on it exactly the same words as those 
I have given, only that the 14th of November had been 
substituted for the 15th.| 

"This extraordinary narrative was obtained by me 
directly from the parties themselves. The widow of 
Captain W. kindly consented to examine and correct 
the manuscript, and allowed me to inspect a copy of 

* It was not in his own regiment, which was then at Meernt, that 
Captain \V. was serving at the time of his death. Immediately 
on arriving from England at Cawnpore, he had offered his services 
to Colonel Wilson, of the 64th. They were at first declined, but 
finally accepted, and he joined the Military Train, then starting for 
Lucknow. It was in their ranks that he felL 

t The originals of both these certificates are in my possession; 
the flrat bearing the date 30th January, and certifying, as already 
shown, to the 15th; the second dated 5th April, and testifying to 
the Mlh. (R. V. O.) 



206 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

Captain C.'s letter, giving the particulars of her hus- 
band's death. To Mr. Wilkinson also the manuscript 
was submitted, and he assented to its accuracy so far 
as he is concerned. That portion which relates to Mrs. 
N. I had from that lady herself. I have neglected 
no precaution, therefore, to obtain for it the warrant of 
authenticity. 

"It is especially valuable, as furnishing an example 
of a double apparition. Nor can it be alleged (even if 
the allegation had weight) that the recital of one lady 
caused the apparition of the same figure to the other. 
Mrs. W. was at the time in Cambridge, and Mrs. N. 
in London ; and it was not till weeks after the 
rence that either knew what the other had seen. 

"Those who would explain the whole on the prin- 
ciple of chance coincidence have a treble event to take 
into account; the apparition to Mrs. N., that to Mrs. 
W., and the actual time of Captain W.'s death, each 
tallying exactly with the other." 

Mr. Wilkinson, of Winton House, Ealing, W., wri' 
to us : — 

November 5th. 

"Mr. Robert Dale Owen personally investigated the 
case, and submitted the message to Captain Wheat- 
croft's widow. I revised the part belonging to me, and 
that part whieh referred to the appearance of Mrs. 
Nenner was revised by her and her husband, Profes- 
sor Nenner. I gave the origiual certificates of deal 
by the War Ofl&ce to Mr. Owen. 

"W. M. Wilkinson. 



>s. N. 
occur- 

: prin- 
ake 
[rs. 
ich 

tes 



(The Mr. N. mentioned was the Eev. Maurice Nen 
ner, ProfesBor of Hebrew at the Nonconform 



APPARITIONS OP SOLDIERS 



207 






lege, St. John's "Wood. Both Mr. and Mrs. Nenner are 
dead.) 

It should be observed that there was no probable 
recognition of Captain Wheatcroft by Mrs. Nenner. 
We only know of the following points to connect her 
vision with Captain Wheatcroft's death: — Similarity 
of attitude; uniform of a British officer; wound in the 
breast; date; and, apart from Mrs. Wheatcroft's vis- 
ion, there is nothing remarkable in this combination. 
But it is certainly curious that on that day she should 
have had a vision which corresponded, at least up to a 
certain point, with what Mrs. Wheatcroft saw." 

We do not know the hour of Captain Wheatcroft's 
death, as he may not have died the moment he was 
struck. If the death was immediate, it must have pre- 
ceded Mrs. Wheatcroft's vision by at least 12 hours. 

The following remarkably interesting series of Vis- 
ions and Dreams appeared in the Occult Review, 
March, 1917, and is reprinted here by kind permission 
of the Editor, Mr. Ralph Shirley. The article is by 
"P. G " and Mr J. Arthur Hill, the well-known psy- 
chical researcher, and author of New Evidences in 
Psychical Research, Psychical Investigations, Spirit- 
ualism, etc. Here is the account : — 

•There is another curious incident connected with this case. In 
ft letter written on July 28th, to the Rev. Wrey Savile, and kindly 
sent by him to me. a clergyman of the Midland counties pves per- 
mission to use his wife's testimony to the fact that Captain Wheat- 
croft "appeared, on the dale named, to an old playfellow and an 
old friend of his" — herself. 1 have corresponded with the clergy- 
man in question, but further details cannot now be procured. 






208 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 



Mrs. Guthrie's Narrative 

In February, 1914, 1 became acquainted with a Capt. 
Stuart, an army man who had been through the Boer 
War. We saw little of each other, but each felt almost 
at once a strong sense of kinship and friendliness. As 
a matter of fact— though this may not be the cause — 
there is very slight relationship, through a common 
ancestor several generations back. In July, 1914, be- 
fore I had any idea of the European war-cloud, which 
was soon to burst, I was presiding at a tea in camp, 
not far from my home : it was a bright sunny day, and 
everybody was in high spirits except myself. I found 
myself inexplicably depressed: the thought "Oh, the 
pity of it, the pity of it!*' filled my mind, without any 
reason. Capt. Stuart was there, but I did not special- 
ly associate my feelings with him or any one else. I 
went home to bed, and wept miserably without know- 
ing why. 

In July, 1915, Capt. Stuart's battalion sailed for 
Gallipoli. We corresponded jegularly, and I sent him 
parcelB. I felt no special apprehension. On the night 
of December 9, 1915, I went to bed at 10 p. m. but 
could not sleep for some time. When I did, I had a 
horrid dream of muddy water, and awoke in great 
discomfort and uneasiness. The room was in absolute 
darkness, the blind down, and heavy curtains across 
the window; but presently I was surprised to see a big 
bright light on the wall opposite my bed and moving 
very rapidly. It then disappeared, reappearing on 
the next wall, then on the wardrobe by my bed. I was 
frightened and screamed for my friend next door; she 
was in almost instantly, white and shaking and saying, 
"The Light! the Light 1 What is it?" For she 1 






APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 



209 



seen the same light in her room, on the door of com- 
munication between the two rooms. The blinds were 
down, the heavy curtains drawn, in her room also: 
moreover we were on the third floor, and no explana- 
tion by a light outside was possible. We spent the 
remainder of the night together. 

Four days later, on December 13, came the news that 
Capt. Stuart was wounded, but no details. And, since 
he was on the' Staff, we hoped it was nothing serious. 
The absence of "dangerously" or "seriously" was re- 
assuring. 

That right, Monday, December 13, 1915, I dreamt 
that Capt. Stuart was standing by my bedside. I saw 
him as plainly as I see the writing I am doing at this 
moment. His uniform looked very worn, and he had 
grey hairs in the black. His face looked wan, worried, 
harassed, troubled, lined, and he was very thin in the 
body, and his uniform was splashed. One hand was 
on my counterpane, the other was pointing to heaven 
and he was singing, "Jesu, Lover of My Soul." Then 
I awoke. When my maid came in, the first thing in 
the morning, I said I felt sure that Capt. Stuart had 
"gone west," and told her my dream. The letters 
came in, and there was one from a relative of his, say- 
ing that a wire had been received from the War Office 
^ announcing his death. He had been wounded on De- 
cember 6, and died on December 9. I went over to see 
the relative, and mentioned my dream and the hymn, 
asking if it was a favourite of bis. She said she had 
never heard so. 

About a month after — during which time I constant- 
ly saw the Light, only now alwayB there was a second 
light close behind it — this relative wired for me to come 

tr, and I went. On goiDg into the room she greeted 



210 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

me with unusual gravity, saying immediately after- 
wards: "What was the hymn you say Colin sang that 
night you saw him?" "Jesu, Lover of my Soul," I 
replied. She then gave me a letter which had arrived 
that morning from one of the senior Staff officers, giv- 
ing the details. Capt. Stuart was rendered uncon- 
scious by a shell-wound on December 6, and died at 
2 a. m. December 9, without recovering consciousness. 
He was buried, wrapped in the Union Jack, at 4.45 
a. m. with full military honours; and the hymn sung 
was "Jesu, Lover of my Soul." 

I had never discussed religion or hymns with him. 
And I had never dreamt of him before. 

Some time afterwards I either had a dream or a 
vision — I don't know which — of my friend standing by 
my bedside, looking awfully determined and not too 
pleased. One hand had hold of one of my wrists very 
tightly, and he was urging me to go with him. I want- 
ed to go, very much, but something (I felt it was ,a 
material and earthy claim) held me back. He was in 
khaki, hut it looked brighter and more cared for. He 
seemed very determined, and was angry because he 
could not drag me out of bed. I gave a cry. and woke 
or came to, to hear some one moving round the rooi 
to the door, which I distinctly heard open; footste] 
(a man's with jack boots and spurs clanking) goinj 
downstairs : the front door opened and shut, and the 
clock struck five. 

Very early the next morning my friend came into 
my room much upset, and asked me if I had Been the 
Light. I said No: and she said that something had 
awakened her and she had seen a large Light on the 
communication door between our rooms, though the 
room was in pitch darkness : then it moved along the 



ike 

z 



APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 



211 



wall towards the door, as it did so she heard something 
moving in my room, then heard my door open, foot- 
steps as of a man in jack boots with spurs clanking 
down stairs, the front door open and shut, and the clock 
struck five. 

A few weeks later I was at my mother's, where 
Capt. Stuart had never been. My maid slept with me. 
She had never Been Capt. Stuart. On the third night, 
January 7, 1916, I dreamt that he had come into my 
room and was bending over me with a beautiful smile 
on his face. He took my hand gently but firmly (he 
was looking awfully well and very determined, but at 
the same time kindly so), and I was quite willing to go, 
and extraordinarily happy. Then a great shriek woke 
me or brought me to, and I heard my maid crying, 
' ' The man, the man ! No, no, you must not go with 
him!" It took me a long time to pacify her. She 
then told me that she had been awakened by hearing 
the door open, and to her astonishment in came a man 

(in khaki. The extraordinary thing is that though the 
room was in absolute darkness, Bhe saw everything 
quite as plainly as if it had been broad daylight. The 
man, who, she saw, was an officer, came to her Bide of 
the bed and looked down at her. She stared up at him, 
too astonished to be frightened just then. When he 
Baw her, he looked angry and turned on his heel to go 
round to my side of the bed, and she saw that when 
he leant over me a wonderful change came over his 
face, the angry look giving place to a beautiful smile. 
She saw him take hold of my hand, and she thinks I 
said "Coming!" Then she suddenly realized that 
there was Bomething strange, and when I was half out 
of bed she screamed (and she did scream), then I woke 
or came to. Some days afterwards I showed her a 



212 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

photograph of Capt. Stuart. She recognized it with- 
out hesitation aa being the man she had seen that night. 

I never saw the light or lights again, but in July 
(1916) I had a queer dream which I call ray "Mrs. 
Caird of Arran" dream. This I will now describe. 

I dreamt it was very early in the morning; where 
I was I do not know — and some one came and said, "A 
Mrs. Caird of Arran is here and specially wishes to 
see you." "Never heard of her," I answered. "Oh, 
she knows all about you, and Bhe says she must see 
you." I said I was busy and couldn't see her then; 
she must wait. 

The day passed, and so did all recollection of Mrs. 
Caird of Arran from my mind, and it was not till late 
in the evening (all this in my dream) that I was re- 
minded that Mrs. Caird of Arran was still waiting. I 
was horrified at having kept any one waiting all those 
hours, and thought how annoyed she would be with 
me. But I found her quite good-tempered. She was 
quite unknown to me. A tall woman, elderly, a jolly, 
buxom-looking party, but not at all vulgar or common. 
She was dressed in black satin; from neck to waist was 
what used to be called a "waterfall" of black lace, and 
from mid-bosom to waist hung a huge gold chain fash- 
ioned like a cable, with huge links ; she wore a bonnet 
tied under her chin with strings — old-fashioned, with 
bugles; her hair, which must have been yellow, was 
now grey, parted in the middle. Eyes a pretty grey, 
complexion rosy, expression very kind. And she 
seemed to know all about me. I wondered where ever 
I could have met her. So I said, "As you come from 
Arran, perhaps you know the Stuarts — Capt. Stuai 
passed over at Gallipoli last December." "Oh, vcr; 
well, indeed," she replied; "and Colin has just sen 






APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 



213 



message to his mother hy a bat (an officer's servant) 
to say he will never come back now." 

Then the scene chnnged and I waB in a bare, rocky 
place with brown soil; blue sea very near, peacefully 
lapping against the shore; overhead a very blue sky, 
and hovering in mid-air huge ferocious birds. I my- 
self was seated by a great heap of disturbed earth 
that had evidently been a grave, and close to me was a 
great white bone. And there was a bad Bmell. I threw 
myself on the ground weeping bitterly and crying, 
"Colin, Colin, if only I could have saved you this!" 
(For I knew how he would loathe it.) Then I felt my- 
self touched, and found Mrs. Caird of Arran beside me, 
pointing to the grave and the bone. She said, "Never 
mind these; Colin says he is quite all right and that 
he had a splendid woman friend at home when he was 
out at the Dardanelles and he will never forget her." 
"Did he say who she wasl" I asked. "Yes, her name 
was Flora." I looked at Mrs. Caird to see if she was 
"drawing" me, but she Beemed quite unconscious. 
Just to make sure, I said, "My name is Flora," but 
she only replied, "Is it! Well, he says he can never 
forget how this woman friend helped him during all 
these weary months. Her parcels and long cheery let- 
ters did so much to buck him up, and he knows the 
time and thought she must have spent for him. She 
will always live in his heart and thoughts like this" — 
and she produced a piece of white paper on which, in 
enormous letters, was the word Flora. Then I woke. 

My next and (up to now) last experience was on the 
night of September 14, 1916. Before going to sleep 
I had been thinking of Colin and wondering if it were 
possible to see him. The next thing I found myself 
in a narrow, lofty, whitewashed walled passage, with 



lies 
old 
elt, 
nd- 

011, 
an 
sh, 

>ke. 

see 



214 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

slate tiles, all beautifully clean as if juat washed, 
one end was a door, slightly ajar, evidently of Bome 
occupied room, for I could hear movement, voices, and 
laughter occasionally. 

Suddenly, in front of me, just across the passage, 
appeared an elderly woman whom I had never seen be- 
fore ; short, full-figure, dresB as of very bygone times 
such as I had never seen but had heard of: the real old 
Garibaldi blouse and waist with a patent leather belt, 
and the Garibaldi blouse and skirt were in pepper-and- 
salt colour. She had a white turned-down collar on, 
black hair parted down the middle, and done up in an 
old-fashioned chignon, complexion pasty to yellowish, 
good shaped nose, bright black eyes. She spoke. 
"Capt. Colin Stuart is passing by and wishes to see 
yon," she said, and immediately a thousand voices 
seemed to echo her. I was frightened and did not 
speak. "Are you ready to see Capt. Colin Stuart when 
he passes by t" she asked, and a thousand voices echoed 
again. I could not speak, and she gave me a very seri- 
ous look, saying, "You must not keep him waiting when 
he passes," and the thousand voices echoed this too. 
Then she vanished, and there was silence, and I waited 
in fright as to whether I should see Colin as an awful 
apparition. I had not much time for fear, for from 
the room where I had heard voices and laughter, there 
appeared Colin ; I heard his footsteps, and in a moment 
he was beside me, and he gave a jolly laugh. Sacred 
and serious as this subject is to me I cannot describe 
that laugh as anything but jolly: and, taking hold of 
my hand in one of his — I saw the other was occupied — 
he led me down the passage and into a small, beauti- 
fully clean three-cornered room with white walls, slate- 
tiled floor, huge old-fashioned fireplace, but no fire or 



APPARITIONS OF SOLDIEBS 



215 






inrnitnre. It was oool, but not unpleasantly so. It 
wbb the room next to the one he had come out of. "We 
only went just inside the door. Colin twisted me round 
in front of him so that I could see him well, and let go 
of my hand. It was then that I saw that he carried 
a suit case and travelling rug in his occupied hand, 
which he never let go of once. He was in what I should 
call a lounge or smoking suit, beautifully cut and 
tailored; of Copenhagen blue; shirt cuffs and collar 
beautifully white; and as for Colin himself he looked 
just splendid. He carried his head up, proudly and 
grandly, his hair was beautifully cut and trimmed, also 
his moustache ; and his face ! he had no lines, and there 
was no sign on that face of either care, or fatigue, or 
worry, or pain, or as if he had ever known anything of 
evil or trouble of any kind. He looked as if he had had 
the most perfect long rest possible, and had had a 
splendid bathe. I was so delighted (no words had thus 
far been spoken between us) that I clapped my hands 
and cried, "Colin, Colin!" I suppose he understood, 
for, looking at me gravely, he said, "They gave me 
cruel pain." (I don't know what he meant, unless he 
was explaining his first mud-splashed and alarming 
appearance, with the lights and the noises: for I know 
he would not want to frighten me, but perhaps he 
couldn't help coming that way at first.) Then I sud- 
denly felt awfully old and tired and worn out, and I 
said beseechingly: "When can I comet" And he re- 
plied very softly, "Not just yet awhile; you are doing 
a splendid work, but it will not be for long now," and 
as he finished speaking, he gave such a happy laugh. 
And I came to with the sound of that happy laugh in 
my ears. 

I have given you my experiences, which have all 



ork 
be- 
for 



216 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

come quite spontaneously. I bjuve been to no seances 
or mediums. They may or may not be of interest to 
you, but to me they have been a great comfort. I am 
firmly of opinion that my friend is doing usefnl work 
on the other Bide and ia waiting for me. I do not 
lieve in death, and have a great horror of the word 
what it has been made to imply. I pray for my friend 
in the present tense along with myself, and my thoughts 
are constantly with him and of him. 

On each occasion when I have come to, there has 
been a feeling of intense fatigue, which was unaccount- 
able on any physical grounds, for I lead a placid and 
restful life, and besides, it is not like fatigue after walk- 
ing or dancing. It is not bodily fatigue, but the nerves 
feel done, absolutely tired and worn out; I had the same 
feeling when my father and brother died. 



Comment by J. Arthur Hill 



Some of the foregoing, admittedly, is not "eviden- 
tial" in the strictest sense. There is nothing surpris- 
ing in any one dreaming that a friend is dead, when 
he is known to be wounded; or in dreaming that he is 
going away, or that we are by a disturbed grave — 
though this latter coincides with what was reported 
after the dream about graves on the Gallipoli penin- 
sula. But on the other hand, there are points which 
are strongly evidential; Le., which suggest the co- 
operation of some mind external to that of the dreamer. 
The Light, seen by both Mrs. Guthrie and her friend, 
appeared for the first time on the night of December 9, 
apparently after midnight. And it was on that night, 
at 2 a. m. on the 10th — which, if local time, woidd be 
midnight where Mrs. Guthrie was — that Capt. Stuart 



i 






APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 



217 






died; though Mrs. Guthrie did not then know that he 
was even wounded. 

And, as to the next incident, Mrs. Guthrie had no 
normal knowledge of the hymn sung at Capt. Stuart's 
funeral, and no knowledge on which inferences could 
he based; for she had never talked with him about 
hymns. The almost inevitable explanation is either 
telepathy from some soldier present at the funeral or 
the actual operation of the mind of Capt. Stuart him- 
self.' On this latter hypothesis he must have been con- 
sciously present at his own funeral, listening to the 
hymn sung. And there is nothing incredible about 
that. I know of various incidents which suggest that 
this often happens; and the Japanese seem to believe 
something of the sort. Apparently Capt. Stuart came 
and sang it before the news could arrive normally, as 
a test message proving his real presence. 

Then there is the queer fact of the maid having a 
waking vision which corroborated Mrs. Guthrie's con- 
temporaneous dream — if it was a dream, for her state 
on these occasions does not seem to have been quite 
like ordinary sleep. There was no "suggestion" from 
one to the other; each perceived the same thing at the 
same time, and the evidence for its objectivity was ex- 
actly of the same kind as the evidence on which we 
base our belief in the external world in general. More 
fleeting and less repeatable, but of the same kind.f 

Then there is the continuity and the steady improve- 
ment in the spirit's condition. This to me is signifi- 

" And the telepathy theory is rendered unlikely by the fact that 
there is iittle or no good evidence for the "tele pa thing" of some 
one else's apparition. 

f I have objaiiied Mrs. Guthrie's maid's signed statement corrob- 
orating her part of the experience. 






218 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

cant: Mrs. Guthrie has no knowledge of spiritualism 
or mediums, but her experience is in line with what I 
have learned in my own investigations. After passing 
over, there is usually no sudden transition to supernal 
realms of glory; no transmutation of man into seraph 
or even ordinary angel. No, he remains himself, and 
for some little time he remains very much in ttie state 
of mind last experienced ; exemplified by ('apt. Stuart's 
splashed and worn khaki and wan and troubled look 
when first seen, four days after his death. Soon, with 
rest and attention and care, the spirit gets over the 
shock and pain incidental to its last hours in the body, 
attaining gradually a state of fine and perfect health. 
It will be noted how Capt. Stuart, in his appearances, 
looked first "brighter and more cared for," and finally 
on September 14, was evidently in the most splendid 
form and ready for work and progress,— as symbol- 
ized by suit-case and travelling rug, and by his jolly 
laugh. It is all in Hue with knowledge gleaned through 
other sources — also the meeting which he foreshadowed, 
for I am quite sure we are all met — and it is helpful 
to get this corroboration through a private person 
who knows nothing of the traditions or conventions of 
the subject. It may be said here that Mrs. Guthrie is, 
as she has said to me herself, "A Celt of the Celts," 
— as is also Capt. Stuart. Perhaps this has something 
to do with the experiences, for the temperament which 
we call Celtic certainly seems more open to psychical 
experiences than the stodgy Anglo-Saxon build, which, 
happens to be my own. 

Mrs. Guthrie seems also to have power of the "phys- 
ical-phenomena" kind. I quote the following from a 
later letter of hers. After mentioning a desk in which 
she keeps Capt. Stuart's letters, she says: — 






APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 



219 






'*. . . . the last letter be ever wrote me, which was 
on the day of his wounding — December 6— will never 
stay in the pocket with the other letters, and on one 
occasion when I went to this desk during this summer 
I had a shock, for not only was the letter out of the 
pocket where I had put it, but the envelope was in one 
corner with the two sheets placed very tidily just be- 
low it, and two little note-books which had never been 
taken out of their different pockets in the desk, were 
at the other corner on the pad very tidily packed on 
top of each other. I need hardly say this desk is kept 
locked and I have the only key. 

"Capt. Stuart was awfully precise and tidy. This last 
letter, which reached me a month after his death, was 
different from any he had written me before. He was 
ordinarily very particular and courteous; this letter 
was cheery and even flippant. . . . Did I tell you that 
about a month ago the room in which he slept during 
his one and only visit here is now a sitting room, and 
one night just before we all went to bed (the others 
were tidying up the room, the door of which opposite 
the fire-place at which I stood was open) my at- 
tention was attracted — why, I don't know — to the door, 
First I saw a kind of nebulous grey clond which evolved 
into the half of my friend, and he was wearing the suit 
in which he came to ns in July, 1914. I saw him only 
for a moment, and the others saw nothing. 

"The grave incident in my 'Mrs. Caird of Arran' 
dream (July, 1916) is odd, for it is only three weeks 
since (i.e., end of October — J. A. H.) that I read in 
the paper about desecration of graves at Gallipoli. 

"Some six weeks after my last dream of Capt. Stuart 
I had a dream of my father, of whom I had previously 
only dreamt in the vaguest way, as it was ten years 



220 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

ago when he passed, a hroken old man : bnt when I saw 
him in this dream he looked glorious, like Capt, Stuart ; 
so fresh, bright, clean, no trace of sorrow or suffering, 
beautifully dressed and groomed. And he also carried 
a suit-ease — an extraordinary coincidence. He was 
coming out of a passage exactly like the one I had 
been in with Capt. Stuart. Papa was coming out and 
I was waiting at the entrance with a lot of women and 
children. We were on a beautiful rich plateau with 
herds of sheep, oxen, and goats, and the women and 
children were dressed in flowing white robeB; one 
woman had a crook (stick) and there was a child with 
very golden carls. Suddenly some one said, 'He's 
coming,' and out of the passage came my father. He 
looked splendid, glorious; they crowded round him; 
he greeted some of them, and then said: 'Where's 
Floral' 'Here I' they answered, and I was pushed 
forward. Papa kissed me, then held me back from him 
and said: 'You have done a splendid work, Flora.' 
He drew me to him, kissed me again very tenderly, 
gave a happy laugh and I awoke." 






Cases of this character have occurred in all wars; 
the present war is no exception; only, until the foun- 
dation of the Society for Psychical Research, there had 
been no organized body for the collection and study of 
such narratives. The few remaining cases, — while oc- 
curring in wars prior to the present one, — are, never- 
theless, of the same general character; and will be of 
interest, as indicating the similarity of the phenomena, 
and how nearly alike they are in point of fact. The first 
case I quote from M. Flammarion's work, The Un- 
known: 



APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 221 

The Tell-Tale Wound 

Captain G. F. Russell Colt, of Gartesherrie, Cam- 
bridgeshire, sends the following narrative: 

"I had a brother who was very dear to me, my elder 
brother, Oliver, a lieutenant in the Seventh Royal 
Fusiliers. At the time of which I write he was at 
Sehastopol. I kept up a regular correspondence with 
him. One day he wrote as though he were out of 
spirits and not well. I answered that he must pluck 
up heart, but that if anything happened to him, he must 
let me know by appearing to me in the little room 
where as young fellows we had often sat together smok- 
ing and gossiping in secret. My brother received this 
letter just as he was leaving his quarters to receive the 
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. (The clergyman 
who was the celebrant told me afterwards.) After 
Communion he went into the trenches. He never came 
back. A few hours later the assault upon the Redan 
took place. When the Captain of his company fell, 
my brother took his place and bravely led on his men. 
Although he had received several wounds, he had 
crossed the ramparts with his men, when he was struck 
by a ball in his right temple. He fell in a heap with 
other soldiers. He was found dead in a sort of kneel- 
ing posture, upheld by other corpses, thirty-six hours 
later. 

"His death took place — possibly he fell and did not 
die immediately — September 8, 1855. 

"The same night I awoke suddenly. I saw, op- 
posite the window and beside my bed, my brother on 
his knees, surrounded by a sort of phosphorescent 
mist. I tried to speak to him, hut I could not. And 
yet I was not frightened. We had been brought up 



222 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

to have no belief in ghoBts and apparitions, 
wanted to collect my thoughts, because I had not 
dreamed of him nor been thinking of him, and I forgot 
what I had written to him a fortnight before. I said 
to myself that it might be an illusion, the reflection 
of a moonbeam on a towel, or of something else. A 
few moments after, I looked again. He was still there, 
his eyes fixed on me with profound sadness. I tried 
again to speak, but my tongue seemed tied. I could 
not utter a word. 

"I jumped out of bed. I looked out of the window, 
and I saw that there was no moonlight. The night 
was dark and it was raining heavily, great drops pat- 
tering on the window panes. My poor Oliver was still 
there. / walked right through the apparition. I 
reached my chamber door, and as I turned the knob 
to open it I looked back ouoe more. The apparition 
slowly turned its head towards me and gave me another 
look full of anguish and of love. Then for the first 
time I observed a wound on his right temple, and from 
it trickled a little stream of blood. The face was pale 
as wax, but it was transparent. 

"I left my room. I went into that of a friend, when 
I lay down on the sofa for the rest of the night. I told 
him why I had come into his room. I also spoke of 
the apparition to several people in the house, but when 
I mentioned it to my father he ordered me never to 
repeat such nonsense, and above all not to mention it 
to my mother, 

'*The following Monday he received a note from Sir 
Alexander Milne, telling him that the Redan hfl 
taken by assault, but it gave him no details. I asked 
my friend to tell me if he saw, sooner than 1 
brother's name among the killed and wounded. A.1 



d 

:- 
II 
I 
b 
a 

T 
It 

» 

: 

d 






APPAKITIONS OF SOLDIERS 223 

a fortnight later, he came and told me the story of his 
death. 

"The Colonel of the regiment, and one or two officers 
who saw the body, sent me word that the look on the 
face was exactly what I had described. The wound 
was just where I had seen it, but it was impossible to 
say if he had died at once. If he had, his apparition 
must have taken place some hours after his death, for 
I saw it about two in the morning. Some months later 
they sent me his little prayer-book and the last letter 
I had written him. They were both found in the inner 
pocket of the tunic that he wore when he died. I have 
them still." 

The last three cases are from Phantasms of the 
Living, and were investigated originally by Mr. Ed- 
mund Gurney. The first is a so-called "Borderland" 
case ; the second a vision, and the third more nearly a 
true apparition. 

A "Borderland" Case 

"On September 9th, at the siege of Mooltan, my hus- 
band, Major-General Richardson, C. B., then adjutant 
of his regiment, was most severely and dangerously 
wounded, and supposing himself dying, asked one of 
the officers with him to take the ring off his finger and 
send it to his wife, who at that time was fully 150 
miles distant, at Ferozepore. On the night of Sep- 
tember 9th, I was lying on my bed, between sleeping 
and waking, when I distinctly saw my husband being 
carried off the field, seriously wounded, and heard his 
voice saying, 'Take this ring off my finger and send 
it to my wife.' All the next day I could not get the 
sight or the voice out of my mind. In due time I heard 



224 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

of General Richardson having been severely wounded 
in the assault on Mooltan. He survived, however, and 
is still living. It was not for some time after the 
siege that I heard from Colonel L., the officer who 
helped to carry General Richardson off the field, that 
the request as to the ring was actually made to him, 
just as I had heard it at Ferozepore at that very time. 
"M.A. Richardson. 



The following questions were addressed by Mr. Gu: 
ney to General Richardson, whose answers were a] 
pended. 

(1) Does General R. remember saying, when he was 
wounded at Mooltan, "Take this ring off my finger, 
and send it to my wife," or words to that effect! 

"Most distinctly; I made the request to my com- 
manding officer. Major E. S. Lloyd, who was support- 
ing me while my man had gone for assistance. Major 
Lloyd, I am sorry to say, is dead." 

(2) Can he remember the time of this incident! 
Was it morning, noon, or night! 

"As far as memory serves, I was wounded about 
p. m. on Sunday, the 9th of September." 

(3) Had General R., before he left home, promised 
or said anything to Mrs. R. as to sending his ring to 
her, in case he should be wounded! 

"To my best recollection, never. Nor had I any 
kind of presentiment on the subject. 1 naturally fell 
that with such a fire as we were exposed to I might gi 
hurt." 

[Pour years after the above was written, Mrs. 
ardson gave me viva voce a precisely accordant a< 
count. She described herself as a matter-of-fact 
son. and does not have frequent or vivid dreams. 



le. 



• 



APPARITIONS OF SOLDIERS 



225 






[The details as to the ring seem fairly to raise this 
case out of the category of mere visions of absent per- 
sons who are known to be in danger, and with whom 
the percipient's thoughts have been anxiously en- 
gaged.] 

A Vision 

From Colonel V., who writes, in a letter dated March 
11th: — "The account was written by me from a state- 
ment made to me by my father, the late Capt. J. H. V. 
The words are my father's, and I wrote them as he 
related them to me. ' ' Names were given in confidence. 

"One of my (i. e., Colonel V.'s, not his father's) 
grand-aunts was Mrs. F., married to an officer, Major 
or Colonel F., of the Dragoons, serving in George III. '8 
time in America. He was killed at the battle of Sara- 
toga. My aunt lived at the time in Portland Place, 
W., and was entertaining a large party one evening. 
Suddenly they remarked she seemed to be in great pain 
and agony, exclaiming quite aloud to her guests, 'Oh, 
do go home I I have seen a most fearful sight, and 
am compelled to break up the party.' Some of her 
most intimate friends asked her what she had seen. 
She replied that she was certain 'her husband F. had 
been killed in a battle, and that she most distinctly 
saw his body being carried to the rear by his soldiers.' 
She remained in great anxiety for weeks, when the sad 
news confirming her vision arrived from America, 
and that at the hour she made the exclamation to her 
guests, her husband, F., of the Dragoons (allowing for 
difference of longitude) was killed in an attack made 
on the enemy at the battle of Saratoga." 

Colonel V. adds, "An aunt, now deceased, told me 
Bhe was, when a girl, present at the time when (her 



226 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

aunt) Mrs. P. called ont 'that F. had been shot, and 
that she saw his body being carried off the field of 
battle. 1 " 

We find from Burgoyne's Campaign, by Charles 
Neilson (Albany) that Brigadier-General F. waa 
wounded at the battle of Saratoga, at 2 p. m. Oct. 7, 
but did not die till 8 a. m. on Oct, 8. From letters 
and memoirs relating to the American War of Inde- 
pendence, by Madame Riedesel, we learn that be waa 
carried to Madame Riedesel's hut at 3 p. m., which 
would correspond with about 8 p. m. in London; and 
that during the afternoon, while he was lying mortally 
wounded, he frequently uttered his wife's name. 



An Apparition 



"Sir: — Of many comrades who gave up their livei 
for Queen and country in Zulutand and Natal, for none 
have I, or those who knew him, felt a keener pang of 
regret than for Rudolph Gough. In November Gough, 
having retired from the Coldstream Guards, proceeded 
as a volunteer to Natal, where on arrival he wa 
a company in Commandant Nettleton's battalion of 
the Natal Native Contingent, with which regiment he 
served in the first advance into Zululand. To all oar 
astonishment, Gough, who had risen from a sick bed 
in Durban, accompanied by Lieutenant George Davis 
of his own regiment, arrived in camp at dusk, having 
ridden through from Durban, a distance of 82 miles, 
in little over a day. Gough, who had suffered badly 
en route, was again severely attacked by that curse of 
South African Armies— dysentery — and was ordered 
to one of the ambulances, where he remained until ti 



: 



APPARITIONS OP SOLDIERS 



1227 



morning of the action of Gingililovo. The moment the 
alarm sounded, the poor fellow staggered out and took 
command of his company, and afterward actually led 
his men over the shelter trench, when the cheer was 
started and the charge sounded. The excitement and 
the exertion proved too much for my poor friend 's en- 
feebled frame, and utter collapse followed. 

"On April 17, just before 'tattoo,' I was sitting in 
the gipsy-looking edifice that the officers of the King's 
Royal Rifle Corps had rigged up, which we dubbed the 
'mess house' or 'banqueting hall,' finishing a letter to 

I a newspaper for which I acted as correspondent, when 
the brigade bugler rang out 'last post.' I walked to 
the door, ontside of which I saw standing the man 
who, two days ago, I had been told waa dying ou the 
other side of the Tugela. I could not describe on paper 
the extraordinary sensation that Gough's unexpected 
appearance gave me. 
"Some few days after I returned to Port Pearson 
to re-assume command of the Natal Native Pioneers. 
After reporting my arrival, I made my way to the 
post-oflice, where I was much shocked at being told 
of my friend's death. The postmaster handed me a 
telegram, which had been suffered to remain in a pi- 
geon-hole for some days, instead of being sent on to the 
front. It was from the civil surgeon, who helped to 
soothe the last moments of my friend, and ran as fol- 
lows: 'Captain the Hon. H. R. Gough is dying. He 
has been asking for yon all day. Come down here if 
possible.' On subsequent inquiries at the hospital, 
I found that he had died at exactly the hour I fancied 
I had seen him outside the mess-house at Gingihlovo. 
Prior to the occurrence I have narrated, I never had 



228 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

the faintest belief in the actuality of supernatural 
phenomena of any nature. 

"Stuabt Stephens. 
' ' (Late Lieutenant 4th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusi- 
liers.)" 

Miss I. F. Galwey writes to us from 5, Earlsfort 
Terrace, Dublin, May 18th : 

"I met two of young Gough's cousins on Saturday; 
and they assure me that the account given by Mr. 
Stephens is a perfectly authentic one, and is fully be- 
lieved by all the family ; but they know nothing of Mr. 
Stephens, except that he was a comrade of poor Ru- 
dolph's, and that just before his death he had ex- 
pressed an earnest desire to see him." 

(The London Gazette for July 22, gives the date 
of the death of Captain Gough, ;is April 19. It seems 
very probable that the "17" in Mr. Stephens' ac- 
count is a misprint. For if he inquired at the hospital 
and learnt the identity of the hour, it is not likely that 
he made so grave a mistake as to the day. But from 
the South African Campaign, by J. R. Mackinnon, we 
learn that Captain Gough had been desperately ill for 
some days before his death; so that even if the vision 
did precede the death by two days, it might still be 
connected with his condition. It is clear, too, from the 
words of the telegram, that his thoughts had been di- 
rected to the percipient for some little time before bis 
death.) 



. 




CHAPTEE IX 






CLAIRVOYANT DESCBIPTIONS OF DEATH: DEATH DESCBIB1 
BY "SPIRITS" 

The physical shock which causes death doubtless de- 
stroys the physical body to such an extent that life 
cannot again manifest through it. The body is thence- 
forward of no further use as a vehicle of spirit; it has 
fulfilled its purposes, and must now disintegrate and 
return to the dust whence it sprang. If the spirit of 
man leaves the physical body, it must do so somehow, 
— and that process should be capable of perception by 
those having properly trained vision. Some accounts 
of this nature are given below. 

After death, man is thought to inhabit a vehicle or 
body resembling his physical body, but composed of 
finer matter — an "astral" or "ethereal" body — the 
"spiritual body" of St. Paul. In this, man lives and 
functions for some time at least. The exit of this body 
from the physical body has been minutely studied, 
and its method of egress may be said to be fairly well- 
known. In the following case, the dying person was a 
young girl, but the process is the same with both sexes ; 
and we cannot doubt that what is here described is 
going on in countless thousands of eases over the bat- 
tle-fields of Europe. 

The account which follows is from the pen of An- 
drew Jackson Davis, — a man whose clear perceptions 
and intuitions raised him to the front-rank as a seer, 



USED 



230 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

philosopher and thinker, and while the language used 
18 at times a trifle "flowery" or old-fashioned, one can- 
not doubt that it seeks to set forth, as clearly as pos- 
sible, the actual facts, as they presented themselves 
to the eye of the "Seer." He says: 

"When the hour of her death arrived, I was for- 
tunately in a proper state of mind and body to pro- 
duce the superior (clairvoyant) condition; but, pre- 
vious to throwing my spirit into that condition, I 
sought the most convenient and favourable position, 
that I might be allowed to make the observations en- 
tirely unnoticed and undisturbed. Thus situated and 
conditioned, I proceeded to observe and investigate the 
mysterious processes of dying, and to learn what it is 
for an individual human spirit to undergo the changes 
consequent upon physical death or external dissolu- 
tion. They were these: 

"I saw that the physical organization could no longer 
subserve the diversified purposes or requirements of 
the spiritual principle. But the various internal or- 
gans of the body appeared to resist the withdrawal 
of the animating soul. The body and the soul, like 
two friends, strongly resisted the various circum- 
stances which rendered their eternal separation im- 
perative and absolute. These internal conflicts gave 
rise to manifestations of what seemed to be, to the 
material senses, the most thrilling and painful sensa- 
tions; but I was unspeakably thankful and delighted 
when I perceived and realized the fact that those physi- 
cal manifestations were indications, not of pain or nn- 
happiness, bnt simply that the spirit was eternally 
dissolving its copartnership with the material or- 
ganism. 

"Now the head of the body became suddenly en- 






CLAIRVOYANTS DESCRIBE DEATH 231 

velopcd in a fine, soft, mellow, luminous atmosphere; 
and, as instantly, I saw the cerebrum and the cere- 
bellum expand their most interior portions ; I Baw them 
discontinue their appropriate galvanic functions; and 
then I saw that they became highly charged with the 
vital electricity and vital magnetism which permeate 
subordinate systems and structures. That is to say, 
the brain, as a whole, suddenly declared itself to be 
tenfold more positive, over the lesser proportions of 
the body, than it ever was during the period of health. 
This phenomenon invariably precedes physical dissolu- 
tion. 

"Now the process of dying, or the spirit's depar- 
ture from the body, was fully commenced. The brain 
began to attract the elements of electricity, of mag- 
netism, of motion, of life, and of sensation, into its 
various and numerous departments. The head be- 
came intensely brilliant; and I particularly remarked 
that just in the same proportion as the extremities 
of the organism grow dark and cold, the brain ap- 
pears light and glowing. 

"Now I saw, in the mellow, spiritual atmosphere 
which emanated from and encircled her head, the in- 
distinct outlines of the formation of another head. 
This new head unfolded more and more distinctly, and 
so indescribably compact and intensely brilliant did it 
become, that I could neither see through it, nor gaze 
upon it a8 steadily as I desired. While this spiritual 
head was beiug eliminated and organized from out of 
and above the material head, I saw that the surround- 
ing aromal atmosphere which had emanated from 
the material head was in great commotion; but, as the 
new head became more distinct and perfect, this bril- 
liant atmosphere gradually disappeared. This taught 



232 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WW 

me that those aromal elements, which were, in the 1 
ginning of the metamorphosis, attracted from the sys- 
tem into the hrain, and thence eliminated in the f 
of an atmosphere, were indissolubly united in accord- 
ance with the divine principle of affinity in the universe, 
which pervades and destinates every particle of mat- 
ter, and developed the spiritual head which I beheld. 

"In the ideutieal manner in which the spiritual 
head was eliminated aud unchangeably organized, I 
saw, unfolding in their natural progressive order, the 
harmonious development of the neck, the shoulders, 
the breast and the entire spiritual organization. It 
appeared from this, even to an unequivocal demonstra- 
tion, that the innumerable particles of what might be 
termed unparticled matter which constitute the man's 
spiritual principle, are constitutionally endowed with 
certain elective affinities, analogous to an immortal 
friendship. The innate tendencies, which the elements 
and essences of her soul manifested by uniting and 
organizing themselves, were the efficient and imminent 
causes which unfolded and perfected her spiritual 
organization. The defects and deformities of her 
physical body were, in the spiritual body which I saw 
thus developed, almost completely removed. In other 
words, it seemed that those hereditary obstructions and 
influences were now removed, which originally arrested 
the full and proper development of her physical con- 
stitution ; and, therefore, that her spiritual constitu- 
tion, being elevated above those obstructions, was 
enabled to unfold and perfect itself, in accordance with 
the universal tendencies of ;ill created things. 

"While this spiritual formation was going on, which 
was perfectly visible to my spiritual perceptions, the 
material body manifested, to the outer vision of ob~ 



nt 
ml 
er 

iW 

:er 
ml 
od 
in- 
to- 
as 
ith 






CLAIRVOYANTS DESCRIBE DEATH 233 

serving individuals in the room, many symptoms of 
uneasiness and pain; but the indications were totally 
deceptive; they were wholly caused by the departure 
of the vital or spiritual forces from the extremities 
and viscera into the brain, and thence into the ascend- 
ing organism. 

"The spirit arose at right angles over the head or 
brain of the deserted body. But immediately previous 
to the final dissolution of the relationship which had 
for so many years subsisted between the two, the 
spiritual and material bodieB, I saw — playing energet- 
ically between the feet of the elevated spiritual body 
and the head of the prostrate physical body — a bright 
stream or current of vital electricity. And here I per- 
ceived what I had never before obtained a knowledge 
of, that a small portion of this vital electrical element 
returned to the deserted body immediately subsequent 
to the separation of the umbilical thread ; and that that 
portion of this element which passed back into the 
earthly organism instantly diffused itself through the 
entire structure, and thus prevented immediate de- 
composition. 

"As soon as the spirit, whose departing hour I thus 
watched, was wholly disengaged from the tenacious 
physical body, I directed my attention to the move- 
ments and emotions of the former; and I saw her 
begin to breathe the most interior or spiritual portions 
of the surrounding terrestrial atmosphere. At first 
it seemed with difficulty that she could breathe the 
new medium; but in a few seconds she inhaled and 
exhaled the spiritual elements of nature with the great- 
est possible ease and delight. And now I saw that she 
was in possession of exterior and physical proportions, 
which were identical, in every possible particular—- 






234 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

improved and beautified — with those proportions which 
characterized her earthly organization. Indeed, so 
much like her former self was she that, had her friends 
beheld her as I did, they certainly would have ex- 
claimed — as we often do npon the sudden return of a 
long-absent friend, who leaves ns and returns in health 
— 'Why, how well you lookl How improved you are I' 
Such was the nature — most beautifying in their ex- 
tent — of the improvements that were wrought upon 
her. 

"I saw her continue to conform and accustom her- 
self to the new elements and elevating sensations which 
belong to the inner life. I did not particularly notice 
the workings and emotions of her newly-awakening 
and fast-unfolding spirit, except that I was careful to 
remark her philosophical tranquillity throughout the 
entire process, and her non-participation with the dif- 
ferent members of her family in their unrestrained 
bewailing of her departure from the earth, to unfold 
in Love and Wisdom throughout eternal spheres. She 
understood at a glance that they could only gaze upon 
the cold and lifeless form, which she had but just de- 
serted; and she readily comprehended the fact, that it 
was owing to a want of true knowledge upon their 
parts, that they thus vehemently regretted her merely 
physical death. 

"The period required to accomplish the entire 
change which I saw was not far from two hours and 
a half; but this furnished no rule as to the time re- 
quired for every spirit to elevate and reorganize it- 
self above the head of the outer form. Without chang- 
ing my position or spiritual perceptions I continued to 
observe the movements of her new-born spirit. As 
soon as she became accustomed to her new ■ 






CLAIRVOYANTS DESCRIBE DEATH 235 

which surrounded her, ibe descended from her elevated 
position, which was immediately over the body, by an 
effort of the will-power, and directly passed out of the 
door of the bedroom in which she had lain, in the ma- 
terial form, prostrated with disease for several weeks. 
It being in a summer month, the doors were all open, 
and her egress from the house was attended with no 
obstruction. I saw her pass through the adjoining 
room, out of the door, and step from the house into 
the atmosphere ! I was overwhelmed with delight and 
astonishment when, for the first time, I realized the 
universal truth that the spiritual organization can 
tread the atmosphere, which is impossible while in the 
coarser earthly form — so much more refined is 
man's spiritual constitution. She walked in the at- 
mosphere as easily, and in the same manner, as we 
tread the earth and ascend an eminence. Immediately 
upon her emergement from the house, she was joined 
by two friendly spirits from the spiritual country, 
and after tenderly recognizing and communing with 
each other, the three, in the most graceful manner, 
began ascending obliquely through the ethereal envel- 
opment of her globe. They walked so naturally and 
fraternally together that I could scarcely realize the 
fact that they trod the air — they seemed to be walking 
upon the side of a glorious but familiar mountain. I 
continued to gaze upon them until the distance shut 
them from my view, — whereupon I returned to my ex- 
ternal and ordinary condition." 

This account of the facts — of what actually hap- 
pened at death — is confirmed by numerous other wit- 
nesses, who agree as to the main details. For ex- 
ample, a nurse (who evidently had some clairvoyant 









236 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

power) and who has worked at the front for some 
months, writes: — 

" 'There is no death; what seemB so is transition,' 
wrote Longfellow in one of his inspired poems. This 
is no mere expression of poetic fancy, but a plain state- 
ment of fact; that, transition I have often seen. For 
something like a score of years I was a professional 
nurse; many deaths I have witnessed. And many 
times I beheld the spirit body rise from the discarded 
earthly body, in appearance an etherealized, glorified 
replica of it. No traces of disease or suffering did I 
ever see on the radiant faces of those thus transformed. 
Striking at times was the contrast which they pre- 
sented to the human features, — emaciated by debility 
or deep-furrowed by pain." 

Death Described by "Spirits" 

Several soldiers have apparently returned from 
their new homes in the "spirit world" to tell the par- 
ticulars concerning their sensations immediately after 
being "killed" by rifle or cannon ball. They relate how 
they intuitively or spiritually (of course somewhat 
vaguely) realized the nature of the accident, and that 
they had just "died," in the usual sense of the word, 
but they did not feel anything like pain — being only 
disposed to sleep very profoundly, regardless of the 
place, and forgetful of what had happened to them. 
This indifference has in many instances resulted in a 
kind of slumber for many days in the other world. 

Writing (through a medium) of his experiences, soon 
after "passing over," one communicator says: — 

"Now it must be remembered that the 'Soul' be- 
comes the body of the spirit after death. This, how- 






CLAIRVOYANTS DESCRIBE DEATH 237 

ever, ia not the work of a moment. Whole hours, 
sometimes days, are consumed in perfecting the work 
of this final organization. While this beautiful pro- 
cess is going forward, the spirit does not fee! anything 
physical or sensuous. It is all intuition, and memory, 
and meditation, and love. Its personality is not self- 
conscious, until the new senses in the new body are 
completed and opened, and adapted to the use and 
everlasting duration of the spirit. We repeat, when 
the death is natural — and no death is natural, save that 
of 'ripe old age' — then the spirit is immediately clothed 
with its new body. It does not sleep, feels no sus- 
pension of identity, realizes no penalty for physiologi- 
cal injury which is the effect of an accidental death, 
and thus the aged one is young and happy, and free 
as is an uncaged bird among the trees of the moun- 
tain. . . . 

"The soldier need not 'dread' the temporary sus- 
pension of his personal consciousness, should he fall 
in battle, because there is in the experience no pain — 
only a confusion for a moment, a surprise of an in- 
stant's duration, as though the whole world had burst 
into countless atoms, succeeded by a flash of universal 
light which reveals a vast darkness, and then — in- 
difference, rest, happiness, slumber. Directly the atoms 
composing the 'Soul' begin to assemble about you — ■ 
the spirit — while you live in intuition, in memory, in 
meditation, and in love — all unconscious of a personal- 
ity or locality, without apprehension, perfectly free — 
indifferent, restful, slumbering. The sublime assur- 
ance that you are floating in the Spirit of the infinite 
Father and Mother — that no sparrow falleth unob- 
served — that nothing is wrong — that everything is 
right where you are — this assurance, singing like the 



238 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

affectionate song of a loving mother in your spirit's 
depths, will lull you to sleep, dreamlessly and yet alive 
and thoughtful, in the downy cradle of eternity. 

"Therefore fear not the physical sensations eon- 
sequent upon a sudden death at the 'cannon's mouth.' 
Fear, rather, the moral disadvantages accruing from a 
struggle in which the inspiration of universal Free- 
dom is not at once the mainspring and the end to be 
attained." 

Another soldier, purporting to communicate through 
a medium, and speaking of the details of his transi- 
tion, and the joy he experiences in thus coming back 
and being enabled to communicate with his earth- 
friends, says : — 

"After a spirit has dissolved its connection with the 
earthy tabernacle, known as the body, it is tired; and 
especially if it has suffered long with the disease which 
sent it out. Then there comes a period of blissful 
peace and rest. You lie, as it were, in a dreamy state, 
such as you often experience in the morning when, 
between waking and sleeping, such pleasures come. 
The spirit friends hover about it, giving it strength 
from their own magnetic influences, comforting it, lull- 
ing it as the mother lulls her child to rest, until suoh 
time as strength is given it to think and act for it- 
self. It was thus in my case. I went out suddenly, 
in full strength, consequently it did not take long for 
me to awaken to the enjoyments and delightful in- 
fluences everywhere about me. The shock was ter- 
rible, and it was very sad for me to witness the grief 
of my friends on earth. It took a long time for me 
to become reconciled to this change of conditions. I 
was, so far as my presence was concerned, at home in 
my father's house as much as ever i was. I heard 



: 

: 






CLAIRVOYANTS DESCRIBE DEATH 239 

every word uttered, saw the sadness, and, as it were, 
lived it, and felt as keenly as did any one of my rela- 
tives ; but still I could not make myself known. The 
door of communication was shut, and they did not be- 
lieve nor countenance this doctrine of Spiritual re- 
turn. They scouted it, and their unbelief has been 
one of my hardest burdens to bear, for if they would 
only open the door of their hearts and let me in, it 
would be so comforting to us all. The family would 
then become reunited through the bonds of spirit-com- 
munication, and we should all taste of the realities of 
immortality. But I must not digress nor be too par- 
ticular. To resume: — 

"I remained about the house and followed the mem- 
bers of my family closely for a long time, and was 
very unhappy. The good spirit- friends did all they 
could for me, but I refused to be comforted. I wished 
to talk to father and mother, and hosts of other dear 
relatives. Others could talk to their friends, but I 
could not. One day, as this medium well knows, I suc- 
ceeded in getting possession of her, . . . and there 
made myself known. It was a joyful hour to me; but 
not so joyful as when I found I could control the 
tongue and pen of the person now writing this. My 
sorrow departed. Gladness filled my heart. I conld 
commune with earth friends, and my possibilities of 
doing good were enlarging. Then I commenced to be 
happy, and to understand the philosophy and signif- 
icance of this life, its duties, and its vast connections. 
In coming to the medium, I found I was benefiting him 
as well as gratifying myself. My friends here noticed 
the change, and to me was imparted a duty of develop- 
ing and helping him in every possible manner — a very 
pleasant duty, and one which I have performed to the 



240 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE V?A 

best of my ability, and one which I always shall 
form, as we are, in spirit, more to each other t; 
we ever dreamed of. I see now clearly. . . ." 

Still another, writing through the hand of Mrs, 
an automatic writer, says : — 

"I want you to believe your friends live still and 
can think of you. . . . On opening the eyes of my 
spiritual body I found myself unaltered, no terror, only 
a strange feeling at first, then peace, a comforted heart, 
love, companionship, teaching. I am — (giving here his 
full name), and have written this, but yonr brother — 
(giving the name) is here and wants to speak to you. 

After an interval Mrs. E. felt her hand again 
polled to write, and the following message came:— 

"I am here (giving her brother's name) and want to 
tell you about my awakening into spirit life. I was at 
first dimly conscious of figures moving in the room and 
round the bed. Then the door was closed and all was 
still. I then first perceived that I was not lying on 
the bed, but seemed to be floating in the air a little 
above it. I saw in the dim light the body stretchei 
out straight and with the face covered. My first idei 
was that I might reenter it, but all desire to do this 
soon left me— the tie was broken. I stood upon the 
floor, and looked round the room where I had been so 
ill and been so helpless, and where I could once more 
move without restraint. The room was not empty. 
Close to me was my father's father (giving the name 
correctly). He bad been with me all through. There 
were others whom I love now, even if I did not know 
much of them then. I passed out of the room, through 

the next, where my mother and were (relatives 

still in this life), I tried to speak to them. My voice 
was plain to myself, and even loud, yet they took n« 






■ 



CLAIRVOYANTS DESCRIBE DKATH 241 

notice of all I could say. I walked through the col- 
lege rooms; much blackness but some light. Then I 
went out under the free heavens. I will write more 
another sitting — power too weak now. Good-night." 
(His signature follows.) 

At another sitting a night or two later, the same 
name was written, and the thread of the preceding 
narrative was abruptly taken up without any preface: 

"I saw the earth lying dark and cold under the stars 
in the first beginning of the wintry sunrise. It was 
the landscape I knew so well, and had looked at so 
often. Suddenly sight was born to me; my eyes be- 
came open. I saw the spiritual world dawn upon the 
actual, like the blossoming of a flower. For this I 
have no words. Nothing I could say would make any 
of you comprehend the wonder of that revelation, but 
it will bo yours in time. I was drawn as if by affinity 
to the world which is now mine. But I am not fettered 
there. I am much drawn to earth, but by no unhappy 
chain. I am drawn to those I love ; to the places much 
endeared." 





CHAPTER X 



OUB DEAD SOLDIERS YET LIVE ! 

In the preceding Chapter, we have seen that somethii 
leaves man at death, and it now remains for us to show 
that this "something" possesses memory and intelli- 
gence — that, in short, it is still the same man we knew; 
and that he continues to persist in much the same way 
that he always did, — that he is the same individual 
we knew here. In considering this question, we must 
put "orthodox" conceptions out of our minds, — as 
being far from the truth, — and think of the departed 
one as being just as he always was, — bright, happy, and 
young; freed from the cares and soitowb of this life; 
living in a new world which he has just entered and is 
about to explore. This is the spiritistic teaching; 
this is what is told us by those who have apparently 
come back to inform us of the road we too must one 
day travel ; and I shall accordingly set forth, here, the 
details (as precise and accurate as possible) concern- 
ing the spirit's exit from the body and its entrant 
into the world of spirit, — asking the reader to remei 
ber that in what follows the majority of the stal 
inents were either "communicated" to us through some 
medium, or are a summary of these statements, ex- 
pressing as concisely as possible the views therein set 
forth. These statements are supported by others, com- 
ing from men and women who have had exceptional 
opportunities of obtaining the facts, — or who ha' 
242 



•oe 






OUR DEAD SOLDIERS YET LIVE! 243 

apparently, communicated with their dear ones more 
or less directly. 

What, then, happens to the soldier who has been 
killed in action; who has "gone west," to join his com- 
rades who have, perchance, preceded him! We know 
that his body has been buried; that is no more. We 
believe that his spirit survives; that it inhabits some 
sort of vehicle, resembling a body, and that it retains 
all the powers and faculties of this life. What happens 
to the soldier at death? 

One communicator replies to this query as follows: — 

"To make this point clear, let us briefly review what 
has happened to those noble 'boys' who sprang to 
the colours at the call of Duty, and without thought 
of self, shouldered the rifle, went forth like modern 
Crusaders to meet the common foe, fought bravely in 
the trenches, and fell as martyrs and heroes that others 
might live. Have they 'died' in any real sense T 
No! Have they gone out of existence as the beasts 
that perish! A thousand times No! Are they, then, 
still alive! Yes! And are they the self -same, dear, 
loving, natural 'boys' as when they moved amongst 
us and caressed us in our homes! A thousand times 
Yes! There is only one change — they have simply 
lost their physical bodies. The real man, the immortal 
ego, remains absolutely unaltered by the process of 
Death, In the language of the Bishop of London : 'A 
man is exactly the same five minutes after death as he 
was five minutes before death.' That is absolutely 
true. 

"These deathless 'boys,' then, are still precisely the 
same today in all their essential characteristics as when 
enveloped in their mortal robe. They have carried 
forward all their feelings of affection toward their 



244 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

loved ones on the earth, all their cherished desires, all 
the possessions in their treasure-house of memory, 
and all their little idiosyncrasies of character. None 
of these things belong to the physical body. They are 
the attributes of the spiritual man, and consequently 
they endure after the raiment of flesh has been dis- 
carded. 

"Death does not transform a man into either a si 
or a devil. He awakens to spiritual consciousnei 
with the impression firmly imbedded in his mind tl 
he is, to all intents and purposes, just as he was when 
functioning on the terrestrial plane. The change, 
fact, is so imperceptible at first that many of those 
who have passed through the 'Gateway' positively 
refuse to believe they have 'died'! If they have ex- 
perienced illness they naturally feel free from pai 
but they attribute this to the fact that they ha 
suddenly, and by some inexplicable means, become con- 
valescent. That they have 'died' is altogether an 
irrational explanation. The ideas that have been in- 
stilled into their minds concerning the meaning of 
Death had not been realized in the slightest degree ; 
there had been no dread and no terror; they had not 
consciously crossed the 'dark waters of Jordan 
they had not been transferred to the mythical Heaven 
of their imagination; they were manifesting in a bod; 
similar in form to the physical vesture; everythi 
around them Beemed as natural and as objective 
the things of earth ; they felt the same impulses am 
the same desires, and the general environment pro- 
duced by their mental activity seemed exactly the same 
as before. How, then, could it be said that they have 
'died'T They might feel that 'something' had hap- 
pened, but what that 'something' was they would be 



ely 

E: 

m- 
an 
in- 
of 
je; 
lot 
a'; 
ven 

s 

Hid 









OUR DEAD SOLDIERS YET LIVE! 245 

unable to explain. 'Death' would be the last explana- 
tion to offer! 

"The days pass, teachers take them in hand, and 
very soon the conviction dawns upon them that they 
must have 'died' after all! Then they become con- 
cerned for those they have left behind, and knowing 
they must be mourning their departure, they are ac- 
companied to their former homes by friendly guides 
and endeavour to impress the dear ones with a sense 
of their actual presence. Alas, the effort often fails! 
The grief of the bereaved has erected an impenetrable 
barrier— a dense wall of grey mist, which spiritual 
vibrations are unable to influence. Imagine the disap- 
pointment and sorrow that follows — a loving heart 
thwarted in its mission of mercy. Such a soul realizes 
all the grief that pervades the home, and is powerless 
to afford relief. This experience is going on in count- 
less homes today, and all because the people have 
never been taught the glorious truths of Spiritual 
Philosophy. And it is not until the grief has abated 
that the loving messenger from the Summerland can, 
in varying degrees, according to impressibility, or 
otherwise, of the mourner, become a 'ministering 
spirit' — such as those St. Paul refers to — to afford 
solace, inspiration and cheer to those so much in need 
of help. 

"Is it any wonder that, possessing a knowledge of 
these spiritual truths, we desire to proclaim them from 
the housetops! Is it not time that men and women 
were plainly told that there is not only one, but two 
parties affected by the condition created by a death 
in a family! The spiritual and the material inter- 
penetrate, and it is very easy for us to mar the happi- 
ness of our friends in the Beyond by indulgence in 



246 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

inordinate grief at their transition. This is why Sir 
Oliver Lodge is constantly entreating those bereaved 
by the war to endeavour, as far as is humanly possible, 
to modify their distress. And every experienced in- 
vestigator endorses this entreaty." 

"Few families," says Sir Oliver Lodge, "have not 
been struck down by Borne calamity during the years 
of war. I want to point out that death is not so serious 
a matter — it is a transition, a natural process of eman- 
cipation of the soul from the body — dissolution but not 
extinction. When people think of the body lying in 
the grave they should not think of the person as 
associated with that body. The body is only a transi- 
tory thing of 70 or 80 years, but that which has grown 
within that body will persist. We must think of the 
transitoriness of the body and the permanence of the 
soul. It is necessary to realize that character is a 
possession which lasts throughout eternity. That 
character we form here, we take with us, we cannot 
get away from it. Suicide does not help at all. We 
only take ourselves with us into the next life, nothing 
else. 

"Death by violence is a calamity, but do not mourn 
unduly for those that are gone, for, as Macaulay says, 
'They were in some sort happy in the opportunity of 
their death.' This kind of death has in it an element 
of sacrifice, of redemption, whieh we may hope will be 
accounted to them. Let us realize the magnitude and 
complexity of the universe. Perhaps we may yet find 
that it is our bodily disability which prevents us seeing 
the vast amount of intelligence and help working with 
us. Let us try to think of those who are you. 
really gone, but, unseen by us, yet working tvti 
a glorious scheme of help and pity. We must change 










OUB DEAD SOLDIEKS YET LrVE! 247 

to something higher. The angels keep their ancient 
order, and we do not know what we shall become, but 
there are all grades of being up from man to Deity. 
This vision is not purely imaginary. The great men 
of the race are not deceived, and they say even more 
than we do." 

A letter recently received from one who had lost his 
son in battle lays: — 

"We have spoken with our boy (killed in action) 
many, many times: in fact, it is now a regular thing, 
and this is what he said recently: 

" 'Do you know, Dad, I don't think you can quite 
grasp it. Do you know that the "boys" suffer more 
here when they return home hi spirit and are refused 
a hearing than ever they suffered on the battle field? 
They know they are alive, and try to appraise their 
loved ones of the fact, only to be met with, and encom- 
passed by, waves of tormenting grief. This is why I 
bring so many of them through to you, Dad.' 

"The question is, how can we open the eyes of the 
many parents and friends to the truth of this — how 
essential it is not to grieve! I am willing to do any- 
thing I can for the 'Boys' who have given their lives 
that I may continue to live in freedom. I am not con- 
cerned about the parents. If they will remain blind 
then, perhaps, it is well they should suffer. It is the 
'Boys' I am thinking of. What can we do to make 
the way easier for themt" 

The following interesting account appeared in the 
Harbinger of Light, February, 1918. It is evidently 
an editorial summary of the detailed case, as sub- 
mitted: The writer says: — 

Our New Zealand contributor, who writes under the 
nom-dc-plume of "Simeon," and an article from whose 



•AL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

Mft npfTttirri in the January issue of this journal- 
ilk wtach ke declared that he had established indis- 
■gmtMr communication with his soldier son, who was 
"feUed** on the Somme, in September, 1916, has for- 
warded to as what appears to be a very good test of 
tvWtttity given by his soldier boy. About six months 
after he passed away, he purported to speak to a Mr. 

A— » through the organism of Mrs. A , both of 

whom, it should be explained, were known to the lad 
before ho left for the war. 

"Do you remember the last time we raett" said the 

communicant to Mr. A . "You spoke to me 

the Garden, near the Boys' High School. I was hav- 
ing my lunch, and the war was not then thought of." 

Mr. A confirms the truth of this statement, and 

then proceeds to relate much more striking comments 
made by the boy. 

"Will you convey my love to father and mother, and 
my brothers — thank God they have not gone to war. 
Tell my dear mother not to hold any fanciful ideas 
of me, or to believe every so-called message she may 
receive. Tell her I owe her all that is best in me, for 
she is brave and good, and I would do anything possi- 
ble to smooth her path in life. Tell her one particular 
thing that will assure her of my presence — tell her that 
the -day she prevented me from going out birds' nest- 
ing, and took so much trouble to instruct us in the 
right, I decided always to try to do what was right 
Tell her the recollection of the anecdote she told as 
always haunted me. Tell her I have not gone to any 
restful spiritual home yet, and probably will not till 
the war ends. Tell her I cannot be a shirker in the 
body or out of it, but having been trained with mam- 
good comrades to do my duty, I try to do it still, and 









OUR DEAD SOLDIERS YET LIVE! 249 

if T were permitted I could tell you bo much wo do to 
help those still fighting — much that is sanctioned and 
assisted, too, by others higher than ourselves, but I 
dare not stay. Tell mother that I was quite suddenly 
shot out of the body, and felt no pain whatever, and 
thanks to the insight I had received through my par- 
ents, and you, and others, I simply folded my arms 
and had a good look at my body, and thought, 'Well, 
is that all ! ' I could not wrench myself away from the 
body immediately, and accompanied it when carried off 
by stretcher-bearers to the dressing station, because 
the body was not quite dead, but I felt no pain. How 
long it was before I lost the consciousness of my ma- 
terial body 1 cannot say, but the freedom I now feel, 
and the active part I am taking in what occupied mo 
so much before death is my duty, and it seems natural 

and right. Besides, Mr. A , there are many pledgea 

my comrades and I made to each other in the face of 
death, which are Bacred, and must be kept, if possible. 
But I cannot stop now. Good-bye, Mr. A , good- 
bye. I am so delighted to have spoken to you. Tell 
father and mother they need have no regrets, and that 
my present activities are more valuable and quite as 
natural as when I was in the flesh, and they will know 
it is the right and proper course till time changes af- 
fairs. Good-bye." 

With regard to the birds' nesting incident, the cor- 
respondent writes — "This one particular thing does 
assure his mother of his presence, because it was one 
of those things only known to the boy and hirsrlf. 
Nothing concerning the incident could possibly have 

been in the mind of either Mr. A or the medium, 

and this is why he emphasized the sending of it through 
to his mother. Some years ago the lad spoke of going 



250 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

birds' nesting and his mother impressed upon him how 
cruel it was to break down the home so carefully pre- 
pared by the parents for their young, illustrating-, in 
story form, the tragedy of BOme great giant coming 
and ruthlessly smashing up her home, and destroying 
her children. 

It is "trifles" of this character, as Sir Oliver Lodge 
emphasizes, which are so valuable in accumulating evi- 
dence of identity, and seeing that the circumstance was 
known only to the mother and her boy, the item be- 
comes somewhat impressive from the evidential point 
of view. It may he of interest to add that twice dur- 
ing the interview the boy appeared to be told by the 
guide that "he must not stay long," and on each oc- 
casion he gave the ordinary military salute, and re- 
plied, "Yes, sir!" This conversation took place six 
months after the lad's death. Since then, he has fre- 
quently communicated in the home circle, and is still, 
in a very real sense, "one of the familyl" 
Another writes to the same magazine: — 
What a difference it would make in the lives of 
countless thousands of bereaved ones if they could only 
realize that these statements are literally true — that 
their heroic fathers, husbands, sons, are no more (lead 
than when they wore the robe of mortality, that they 
are, in fact, more alive than ever, that thej 
joicing in the fruits of sacrifice, and are often at the 
front performing deeds of mercy I AU their interests 
and sympathies remain, and when they are not on the 
battle-field they are in their former homes endeavour- 
ing to console the mourners and lift the veil 
hides them from physical view. This conach 
of their continued existence, and that they are just the 
same as formerly — the same in appearance and tho 









OUR DEAD SOLDIERS YET LIVE! 251 

same in their affections — would lift a load from many 
a broken heart and shed ■ ray of hope across the dis- 
mal vista of the future. And (his sense of relief would 
become intensified If these Borrowing and soul-crushed 
relatives could feel assured that they had received a 
message from the fallen hero, and that all was well 
with "the boy." As Ernest Renan expresses it: "If 
we could but once a year exchange two words with our 
loved and lost. Death would be no longer Death." 
Thank God, this "exchange" is taking place in thou- 
sands of instances today. "Every -week I know of a 
new case where a stranger goes to a medium and gets 
into touch with a relative," stales Sir Oliver Lodge. 
The psychic journals of England are full of cases of 
parents "discovering" their boys who were "killed" 
in the trenches — the severed connection has been re- 
stored, and great joy has followed this blessed reunion 
of loving hearts. 

These experiences can be repeated in the lives of 
every mourner if they will only put aside prejudices, 
and, in spirit, seek to re-establish communication with 
the loved one. It must not be imagined, however, that 
we are advocating the practice described as "running 
after mediums." We do not approve of extremes of 
any kind. But we do maintain that every father and 
every mother, who has given a boy as part of the price 
of victory in this awful war. is entitled to know where 
that boy is today, and how lie fares in the realm of end- 
less life. And wc declare, farther, that that knowledge 
can be theirs if they will only investigate. It is aot a 
matter of "calling up" a somnolent soul, who is popu- 
larly supposed to be "asleep within the tomb." There 
is no "calling up" about it. These "boys" are very 
much alive, and are eagerly awaiting an opportunity 



252 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE V?A 

to assure their desponding relatives and friends thi 
"All is well." They are, in fact, far more anxious 
to communicate than those they have left behind are 
to go to a medium to hear what they have to say. 

The writer of these lines has not yet lost a relati/e 
in the war. But he has lost a score from Datura! 
causes in England since he has been in this country, 
and although none of them were known in this coun- 
try, they have all reported themselves through dif- 
ferent mediums, and, in some cases, succeeded in con- 
clusively establishing their identity, — have given the 
nick -names by which the writer knew them as a boy, 
and related intimate details of family history of thirty 
years ago! Every experienced investigator has had 
similar experiences. This explains the confidence 
with which Sir Oliver Lodge, Sir William Crookes, 
Sir William Barrett, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and a 
host of other noted scientific men Bpeak and write on 
the subject. It is only those who have never investi- 
gated that deny the facts — ignorance sitting in judg- 
ment on knowledge 1 We do not know whether the 
Rev. Ernest Jenkins, M. A., Congregational minister, 
of Leeds, is a student of the Spiritual Philosophy. If 
not, he seems to have learned its truths all the same. 
Preaching a memorial sermon recently concerning the 
death of Lieutenant Harry Scholefield, who died from 
wounds received in action, the Rev. Dr. Jenkins said : — 

"This life is but a fragment of our existence, a 
fragment which, by itself, has no meaning; its meaning 
is rooted in an eternal past and carried on in an eternal 
future. We are on the steps of a stair, with many 
steps beneath us and many yet above. What we call 
dying is just stepping higher. Harry Scholefield not 
only lives, but is in conscious and intimate touch tviti 












OUK DEAD SOLDIERS YET LIVEl 253 

us here. He has not passed to a land 'far, far away,' 
but is near at hand. He is 110 doubt resting after the 
awful experience through which he has passed; but 
soon, quite soon, he will be refreshed and take up the 
duties and pleasures which await him in his new life. 
Memory does not cease with death; we carry it with 
us beyond the grave. And having memory, his loved 
ones left behind are constantly in his thoughts. I 
can imagine him saying to some of the other valiant 
souls who have laid down their young lives for us : — 
'/ wish my folks would not worry. I'm all right. I'm 
proud and happy to have laid down my life in such a 
cause. I want them to go on in the same useful, lov- 
ing attd happy way as when I was with them in the 
body. My death is a cause for pride, not pessimism, — 
fuller service, not less.' In some such words, I feel 
confident, he is speaking." 

ThiB, of course, is the Spiritualistic view entirely, 
and whether the preacher was aware of the circum- 
stances or not, the fact remains that the imaginary 
message he placed on the lips of the fallen soldier 
bears a very striking resemblance to the sentiments 
uttered by many of these returned heroes. They are 
more than satisfied with their present condition, and 
their chief concern is to remove the grief occasioned 
by their departure. When will rational and comfort- 
ing sermons of this character be more generally 
preached? Not until the Church recovers its lost-out 
knowledge of the meaning of death and the conditions 
prevailing in the world beyond. It is spiritual illu- 
mination that the Church needs today, — a Pentecostal 
outpouring that shall galvanize the dry bones of ortho- 
doxy into exuberant life, and open the eyes of those 
who are "blind leaders of the blind." In the mean- 



254 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE Wi 

time, Spiritualism offers to the bereaved the solace 
which the Church fails to afford. "Come unto Me, 
all ye that labour and are heavy laden and 1 will give 
you rest." That was the divinely sympathetic invi- 
tation of olden time, and a similarly appealing offer is 
today extended in the name of Spiritualism to all who 
are staggering beneath some crushing blow inflicted by 
the war. "Oh, for the touch of a vanished hand, and 
the sound of a voice that is still." 
And another correspondent writes : — 
" 'But what of those who meet sudden death in ba 
tie?' Borne may ask. 'Do angels also meet them whi 
they enter the other life J' 

"Aye, verily they do. I testify not only to thai 
which I have been told by 'angels,' but to that which 
I have seen. For often I have been liberated from 
my physical body, though not by death, and sometimes 
have been transported to battlefields. And there I 
have seen angels — hosts of angels — ministering to tin 
wounded and dying and bearing those away who have 
been killed — not their mangled corpses, but their spiril 
bodies, unscathed by shot or shell. . . . 

"Nothing with which we are familiar in this life 
is more generally misunderstood than death. Of all 
the many gifts which our Father in Heaven bestows 
on ub it is, I think, the best. As it has been revealed 
to me, it is the crowning proof of Divine love. Death 
ib but a rebirth into another life which, for those who 
seek good and not evil, is a broader, freer life 1 
this — in a life in which the best that is in them finds 
pier scope for development; and in which, as Ihe; 
progress, they obtain a deeper realization of the la 
of God than is possible here, and joy unspeakable 
serving Him." 



by 
nd 

en 

lat 
ch 
n 

i 



OUR DEAD SOLDIERS YET LIVE! 



255 



Still another, who has received constant and assur- 
ing communications from his son, killed at the Dar- 
danelles, writes: — 

"Unfortunately, there are but few, comparatively 
speaking, who have had a realization of the channel 
open for communication, prior to tlie catastrophic blow 
falling so suddenly upon the nation. Consequently they 
have been caught impnparad. My sympathy is with 
all such, and aB one who has followed the open path 
for many years, I write in love of my fellow-sufferers. 

"It was quite different in the case of our dear boy. 
From early childhood he was brought up to know and 
appreciate the fact that 'nothing is hid,' in except so 
far as we hide it from ourselves by self-imposed limita- 
tions, — the outcome of ignorance. Though only twenty 
when he left for Gallipoli, he had been privileged to 
see full sized materializations, and had affectionate 
kiiuwledge of and kind regard for some sisters pos- 
sessed of the power of mediumship. We were, there- 
fore, not much surprised when some three months after 
he fell on the Somme front, he gave us evidence of 
his presence. We did not hurry. We did not ask. 
We waited, leaving it to him to come in his own good 
time, but we never failed to send him loving thoughts. 
He had been resting, and regaining his strength, — 
hence some delay. 

"And how real he was! Absolute proof of his liv- 
ing presence has again and again been given to us. 
And how he thanked us for having brought him up 
in the knowledge of the Truth 1 It had, he said, made 
his passing so easy, while our loving thoughts had 
helped to re-invigorate him. And what joy it was to 
him to come back and find response in us, — that both 
he and we might know that nothing can ever break 



256 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE V'A 

the cords of love. Lucidly he explained to lis how 1 
now saw from both aides — we seeing from only one; 
he therefore could speak with knowledge while we must 
accept much of the truth in faith. 

"How we all love our 'Boys'! And how much < 
nation has done and is doing for them, irrespective of 
cost. Here then is a simple thing we might do: Think 
in reality of those who have gone! Speak to them in 
love I Pray for them to the All Father, the All-per- 
vading Source of Life, the Divine Spirit, 'in Whom we 
live and move and have our being.' 

"If I conld only tell you, too, of the many com- 
panions he has brought with him and assisted to speak, 
you would no longer ask why I am so anxious to write 
this message. Do I not love all those who have fought 
and died, for us who are older, that we may continue 
to enjoy rights of freedom? Therefore it is, I plead 
with those who have lost one who is near and dear 
to them to give him a welcome home in reality, and 
send him continual thought-waves of love. This is 
what the dear ones long for us to do. God is Love, 
and Love is the never-failing channel of communica- 
tion, 

"Only last night our beloved boy ivas again with 
us, and spoke for nearly tivo hours, almost as freely 
as when present with us in the fleBh, and great and 
lovely is the work he is engaged upon. And so, of all 
who have 'passed over' none are missing or forgotten. 
He told us he had been privileged to see The Master, 
and to bow within the radiant Light of His all pervad- 
ing love for the children of men, for the Sons of ( 
who are fighting onward along the path of tribulation 
Wherefore, brothers in affliction, 'be of good cheer,' 






OUR DEAD HOLD1KRS VKT LIVE! 257 

for this is the path by which all must move 'out of 
darkness into His marvellous light.* " 

Doubtless, it is this certainty, which is thus obtained 
through direct and personal communication with the 
dearly-beloved departed-one, which gives assurance 
to many which they would not otherwise have, and 
buoys them up in a new faith and with new courage. 
M. Maeterlinck indeed had occasion to notice this, and 
the feelings of surprise ho experienced when first he 
encountered it, in a woman whose son had been killed 
at the front, for he says (Tlie Light Beyond): — 

The other day I went to see a woman whom I knew 
before the war — she was happy then — and who had 
lost her only son in one of the battles in the Argonne. 
She was a widow, almost a poor woman; and, now that 
this son, her pride and her joy, was no more, she no 
longer had any reason for living. I hesitated to knock 
at the door. Was I not about to witness one of those 
hopeless griefs at whose feet all words fall to the 
ground like shameful and insulting licsT Which of ns 
today is not familiar with these mournful interviews, 
this dismal duty! 

To my great astonishment, she offered me her hand 
with a kindly smile. Her eyes, to which I hardly 
dared raise my own, were free of tears. 

"You have come to speak of him," she said, in a 
cheerful tone; and it was as though her voice had 
grown younger. 

"Alas, yes! I had heard of your sorrow ; and I have 
come. ..." 

"Yes, I too believed that my happiness was irre- 
parable; bat now I know that he is not dead." 

"Whatl He is not dead I Do you mean that the 
news . . . 1 But I thought that the body . . ." 



258 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAE 

"Yes, his body is over there; and I have even a 
photograph of his grave. Let rue show it to you. See, 
that cross on the left, the fourth cross: that is where 
he is lying. One of his friends, who buried him, Bent 
me this card and gave me all the details. He suffered 
no pain. There was not even a death struggle. And 
he has told me so himself. He is quite astonished that 
death should be so easy, so slight a thing. . . . You 
do not understand! Yes, I see what it is: you are just 
as I used to be, as all the others are. I do not explain 
the matter to the others ; what would be the use? They 
do not wish to understand, ne is more alive than he 
ever was; he is free and happy. He does just as 
likes. He tells me that one cannot imagine what a 
lease death is, what a weight it removes from yoi 
nor the joy which it brings. He comes to me whei 
I call him. He loves especially to come in the even- 
ing; and we chat as we used to. He has not altered 
he is just as he was on the day he went away, — only 
younger, stronger, handsomer. We have never been 
happier, more united, nearer to one another. He di- 
vines my thoughts before I utter them. He knows 
everything; but he cannot tell me everything he knows. 
He maintains that I must be wanting to follow him and 
that I must wait for my hour. And, while I wait, we 
are living in a happiness greater than that which was 
ours before the war, — a happiness which nothing can 
ever trouble again. ..." 

And the happiness and the certainty which is thus 
obtained can never again be lost. The assurance that 
the son still lives has proved too deep for eradication. 
Her son had been lost — yes; but he was still "the 
waiting for her; still the same boy he always 
been; for the self which is lost in service is not li 



on, 
len 
en- 



OUR DEAD SOLDIERS YET LIVE I 259 

but found. "He that loseth his life for my sake shall 
find it," said the Nazarene. And this has been amply 
borne out by the present war. As a contributor to a 
recent issue of the International Psychic Gazette ex- 
presses it : — 

"Self lost in Service!" This is the essence of the 
Christ-life: the manifestation of the Christ upon the 
earth, and in spite of all the- terrorB and desolation 
caused by the world-war, yes, even because of it, this 
spirit is developing and unfolding in many a human 
soul today. "Self lost in Service" is the greatest 
antidote to all sadness and weariness the world ever 
has or can ever know. It ia indeed a spiritual anaes- 
thetic which sootheth to slumber the restless heart- 
ache, while the great Angel of Pain probes and cuts 
and prepares for the greater healing which is to fol- 
low. And when to this loving service is added the 
knowledge that so-called Death is but an episode in 
Life — a great adventure for the spirit — and that com- 
munion is possible, and in some eases even easy, then ' 
indeed is the river of tears between the two states 
dried and the veil If not. 

Two cases within my circle of friends illustrate this. 
A yonng girl whom we will call Heather, is affianced 
to a brave young soldier. He leaves his love and his 
country and yields up his life on the great sacrificial 
altar of the battlefields of France. When Heather 
hears the news, she is distracted, overwhelmed. Then 
she learns that spiritual communion is possible, and by 
chance, she is brought in contact with a sensitive who 
sees and describes to her her Boldier lover. Soon she 
is invited to sit in a small spiritual circle, and to her 
Burprise she becomes clairvoyant and clairandient; 
that is, she sees those who have passed through death's 



260 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

portals, she bears their voices, and for her there is 
a new heaven and a new earth; former things have 
passed away — she baa not lost her lover, death has not 
divided them. The consciousness of his presence lifts 
her heart and soul above the things of earth; she is 
still his and be is hers, and these two know that they 
are one forever, that theirs is a marriage made in 
heaven, which the cold blasts of earth can never chill, 
and now Heather looks forward to the day when her 
lover and herself shall work together in the great 
spiritual harvest-6elds, and shall do such work as they 
might never have accomplished had he remained in 
the physical body. Daily be visits her now and in- 
forms her of his movements and his progress, 
tells her how he attends lectures at the halls of learn- 
ing, and studies in the colleges in the Great Beyond, 
aud how one of the special subjects he is learning, and 
graduating for, is the different methods of control- 
ling earth mediums and the ways of efficiency guardii 
them from obsession. 

Oh, bow natural and sane is bfe beyond! This 
brave soldier-lover is not a white-winged angel in 
some far-off state, neither is be in the orthodox hell, 
but he is just Heather's lover, working for her good» 
and learning the best means of communing with her 
and protecting her; and doubtless ere long his studios 
will bear fruit, for he is a strong determined man of 
character and high ideals. He is years older than 
Heather, and she trusts him implicitly, and looks for- 
ward eagerly to the day when he will be able to m 
her as his conscious instrument upon the earth, win 
they both shall minister to the spiritual needs of the 
earth-treaders. So Heather does not now weep for 
her lost love. Faith has been crowned by knowledge, 



M 
* 

d 
l- 
% 

id 
ol- 
ng 

lis 
in 

■u, 

>d, 
ler 
its 
of 
an 



OUR DEAD SOLDIERS YET LIVE! 261 

and both faith and knowledge are now dedicated to 
divine service for humanity. Truly as Tennyson says: 

"The veil is rending and the voices of the day 
Are heard across the voices of the dark." 

Another girl, whom we will call Dot, loveB a brave 
fellow who is no stranger to the facts of spiritual 
science. He imparts to her some of hiB knowledge. 
She is not particularly impressed with the average 
Spiritualistic meetings. Mere phenomena, necessary 
as these are as stepping stones, do not satisfy. She 
feels in her soul that there is something greater to 
attain to. The war breaks out. Her lover does what 
many other brave men have done, he gives himself 
to his country. In May of last year he comes home 
on leave; they are married; the young bride is left 
in her father's home. The very next month the hus- 
band is reported "wounded and missing." Does Dot 
give way to selfish repining and unavailing regret? 
No: in this state of life and beyond, she was and is — 
his, so there is no room for regret whatever may be his 
fate. But her intuition tells her that he has not passed 
into spirit-life, although from that fateful day in June 
last to this, she has had no word of him. What does 
she do T She Bets to work to cheer up his own people, 
who grieve so terribly about his unknown fate, and 
then she thinks also of the "gifts of the spirit," and 
desires earnestly "the best." She starts Bitting for 
automatic writing, and very soon gets many cheering 
messages; then she determines to develop her own 
spiritual gifts for service, and is invited to join our 
circle for development. She decides that if develop- 
ment is possible to her, she will not be used by any 
spirit to pamper the curiosity of a mere wonder-seeking 



deepest 
ist-love 

10 room 



262 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE W 

crowd, but that the temple of her body shall be a shrine 
consecrated to the use of angels who work in the service 
of love. The weeks go by, and Dot's unfoldment pro- 
ceeds. Then a spirit who has guarded her for long, 
although unknown to her, speaks, and we are told that 
an intelligence of high degree, in response to the sen- 
sitive's appeal, wishes her prepared for his use. Soon, 
we are given to understand, this lofty spirit will 
speak in public through Dot. Now, all Dot's spare 
time is given to her own preparation to become a link 
in the chain which unites highest heaven to 
hell, to be a channel through whom waves of Christ-love 
may reach the eartii and even outer states. 

So here again "Self lost in Service" leaves no rooi 
for selfish repining. Thus are the lessons being learned 
which "The Mighty Angel of Tribulation" came to 
earth to teach. Thus are sparks of divine being 
fanned into flame, and these shall kindle many another 
spark, until by degrees every other spirit throughout 
the length and breadth of the Universe shall release 
themselves as part of the Eternal Flame — that Powe: 
which men call God. 

I cannot do better, perhaps, than to conclude in tht 
fine words of Sir Oliver Lodge, who, in a recent article 
entitled "A Message of Hope to the Bereaved, 1 
says : — 

And bow can man die better 
Than faring fearful odds, 
For the ashes of his int-hera 
And tfce temples of his gods, 

And for the gen lie mother 

Who dandled him to rest, 
And for the wife who nurses 

His infants at her breast. 



•ine 






OUR DEAD SOLDIERS YET LIVE ! 803 

So sings the poet concerning the heroic defence 1 of 
ancient Rome ; and so has come the call to ns in mod- 
ern England ; to fight for the women-folk, as always, 
and, this time, for an exceptionally large and noble 
cause. 

In this conflict we are all engaged, directly or indi- 
rectly, for the iron machinery of war has turned out 
to be as essential as the muscles and sinews to wield 
it. 

Some are called to sacrifice leisure and home and 
occupation; some are called on for their lives. But 
there is no lack of response, for we know that we are 
passing throngh one of the great crises in the human 
history of this planet. 

It has been expedient that many men should die 
for the nation, and not for this nation only, but for the 
whole cause of free civilization and Christianity. An 
organized system of devilish morality had reared its 
head in Europe, and had deceived the unfortunate peo- 
ple who had succumbed to its specious promises and 
temptations, and had seemed to be justified by success. 

A conflict was inevitable sooner or'later — a con- 
flict in which the forces of evil must be thoroughly 
vanquished, that it may be known by bitter experience 
that they lead to destruction after all. A nation can- 
not sell its soul to the devil with impunity any more 
than can an individual. Wickedness may flourish like 
a green bay tree, but in the fulness of time it is cat 
down, dried up, and withered. 

An object-lesson in morality, a veritable crusade, 
this war has been called, and the nomenclature is just. 
Our gallant troops are agents of the powers of good, 
as truly as ever were human agents called to a specific 




264 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

work. In the highest cause they have been called 
to suffer and, if need be, to die. 

But the suffering is far wider spread, the bereaved 
and sorrowful arc in piteous case, and it is on thei 
behalf that an opportunity has been given me of sa; 
ing a few words of comfort and hope. 

For what is death? A natural process through 
which all living things must pass, a stage in the jour- 
ney of existence. An important station, truly; we do 
more, on arrival, than change to another line. Death 
is more like a Port of departure, where we leave our 
land conveyance and launch out on a new medium. In 
that sense only can it be likened to a terminus. Death 
is a great adventure, it is in no sense a termination 
of existence. 

By too many death has been thought of as an' end, 
a cessation of existence, a sudden and complete stop- 
page. It is not so; but it was a natural mistake to 
make, because it has been singularly difficult to get 
messages back. Away the emigrants have sailed, on 
the ocean of a new life, and had no means of sendinj 
word of their progress to mourners on the shore. 

They have found means now. The silence is no 
longer unbroken. I doubt if the silence was ever quite 
complete, but it served. It was more than sufficient 
to cause despair and to constrain people to think of 
their loved ones as buried in the earth or sea and t< 
lament their fate hopelessly and wildly. This horribi 
blunder need no more be made. 



ed 
iir 

y ' 



I 





The pangs of separation are bad enough without this 
added torment, which is both gratuitous and false. 
was torment on both sides, too. For, though we might 



OUR DEAD SOLDIERS YET LIVE! 265 

be oat of touch with them, they were not wholly igno- 
rant of ns. They might know very little of what we 
were doing, but affection is a strong link, and they 
could feel and be distressed by our hopeless sorrow. 

They do not wish to be mourned in that way; they 
feel strong and vigorous, active and useful; they ought 
not to be lamented unduly. Sorrow that is natural and 
human is their due, but it should be full of love and 
hope and sympathy, as theirs is for ns. Their mes- 
sages tell us that they are well, that they are happy, 
that life is keenly interesting, and even more exhila- 
rating than when pent up in the bodily mechanism 
from which they have been liberated. 

Yet bereavement is painful; death in the prime of 
life is tragic, the premature loss of an earthly phase of 
existence is a great deprivation. True; but without 
sacrifice is no remission ; the sacrifice is their glory and 
honour and patent of nobility. The cause being 
worthy, they are happy in the opportunity of their 
death. And we that are left behind must rejoice with 
them in their fruition and eager helpfulness, and must 
temper our sorrow with abundant hope. 

It will be asked: How do I know so positively, so 
assuredly, that death is not the end, that it is only a 
transition, a change of conditions, a quitting of the 
material life, and an entry into another mode of ex- 
istence under different conditions! Though I have 
reason to think that, for ordinary people, the new sur- 
roundings will be not altogether dissimilar to the sur- 
roundings here. Not by religion, not by faith, have 
I been guided to this knowledge 1 , but by simple follow- 
ing of fact. Speculative thought might easily suggest 
the contrary — in my case at one time it did — but my 
business as a scientific man has been not to speculate 



26G PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE "WA 

but to grope, to examine all manner of facts, and 
follow the light faithfully whithersoever it might lead. 

Denials, negations, assumptions of impossibility are 
easy to make, but unless they are well founded they 
are misleading. The restricted outlook of those who 
have limited their study to bodily structure and func- 
tions is quite natural and readily understood. The 
living body is a beautiful piece of mechanism, full of 
physical and chemical laws in entirely normal activity. 

Given a suitable stimulus, everything that can hap- 
pen in the inorganic world can be traced working in 
the same way in the fabric of animals and plants. And 
those who have discovered this and are still working at 
its details sometimes get carried away by their enthu- 
siasm and add to their splendid sheaf of positive in- 
formation the gratuitous surmise, the baseless hypo- 
thesis, that the body which they study is the whole of 
man. And that when man's material machinery is ir- 
retrievably damaged and discarded there is nothing 
left. 

Well, without further examination of specific psy- 
chological facts, it might seem so, but when we come 
to grips with the facts we find that it is not so. The 
whole personality persists: the memory, the charac- 
ter, the affections are all unchanged. The individual 
soul, if so it may be called, has entered another re- 
gion of service, and has some different — perhaps 
ethereal — mode of manifestation : one that does not ap- 
peal directly to our senses at all, so that thp animatin) 
spirit seems to have gone altogether beyond our ken, 

Beyond our ordinary physical ken, yes: but a men- 
tal link remains. The power of thought, the imma- 
terial method of communication that is called telepa- 
thy, continues, and this can be utilized and developi 






OUK DEAD SOLDIERS YET LIVE! 267 

By this means messages have been received across the 
gulf, and the barrier is opaque no longer. It never 
was really opaque : there must have been far more per- 
sonal intercourse than the world in general has been 
aware of ; but now the facts — the messages which come 
— are being examined in a scientific age, and to any one 
who will really study the facts, for a few strenuous 
years, doubt is no longer, in my judgment, reasonably 
possible. 

The evidence requires study. Yes, truly, it does. 
All scientific evidence requires study. Is the general 
public expected to examine the records of scientific 
societies before it can receive information at the hands 
of those who have worked at the subject of which they 
■treatf Certainly not. Yet some idea of the evidence 
ought to be given. It is not possible to convey any ade- 
quate idea of the evidence in an article, it needs at 
least a book ; and a hook I will write — indeed am writ- 
ing; but I have lately communicated three incidents of 
the most recent evidence to the Society for Psychical 
Research, whoso business it is to criticize these things, 
and in a forthcoming issue of its proceedings they will 
appear. While in the previous volumes of proceedings 
will be found a large accumulation of previous evi- 
dence. 

But I cannot expect people in general to understand 
it; I cannot expect people to deduce conclusions from 
any record. They can realize that a case for inquiry 
has been made out; they can regard the possibility with 
respect and interest ; but for conviction I am sure that 
most people must depend on some first-hand experi- 
ence of their own. And what that experience may be, 
what form it may take, is not for me to say. Mean- 
while I counsel an open and yet critical miud, and the 



268 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE W 

reception of such immediate comfort a3 they can 
eeive from the assurance that I and a few other stu- 
denta fairly familiar with the whole of the evidence 
have been convinced. 



Z 



Those who prefer to be guided by speculation and 
hypothesis as to what is likely must continue their atti- 
tude of negation, which is based on nothing more sub 
stantial than their inability to comprehend how thei 
things can possibly be true: especially how mental i 
tivity without the accustomed organ which we call t 
brain is possible. As a matter of fact they have i 
real theory of how it is possible with the brain, 
have grown accustomed to that fact, and find it hard 
to imagine any other j that is the strength of their posi- 
tion. 

The connection between mind and matter is a puz- 
zle. Mind without matter is not a whit greater puzzle. 
It is not a case for theory but for examination of fact. 
The facts at present recognized by orthodox science 
must be enlarged, and then in due time a theory may 
follow. 

The theory may be difficult: it certainly is far from 
clear at present. Supposititious explanations can be 
suggested, but to them no weight can be attached. We 
do not pretend that the whole rationale of the process 
of communication is clear. That is what we are en- 
gaged in studying. If there were no difficulty, the hu- 
man race would have known all about it long ago. 

It is because of the difficulty that such careful rec- 
ord and examination of fact has been necessary. Be- 
cause of it also much profound scepticism has been 
quite legitimate. 






OUR DEAD SOLDIERS YET LIVE! 269 

But now that there are facts demonstrating per- 
sonal survival to be studied, it is futile to adduce the 
difficulty of explaining them as an argument against 
them. If they will not fit into our preconceived the- 
ories, then those theories must sooner or later be 
enlarged. The realm of science is not necessarily 
limited to a study of the material basis of existence; 
it will have to include something more like existence 
itself. There must be a theory not of earth-life alone, 
but of Me itself— something much larger and fuller, 
of which earth-life is but an episode. 

Then I venture to anticipate that we shall find that 
we are one family all the time, that there is no real 
break or discontinuity in existence, that what ia called 
"the next world" is a condition of things fully as real 
and interesting and full-bodied as this world. That 
it is no strange land to which our friends have gone, 
but a home-country commensurate with the brightest 
of our reasonable hopes. 

Meanwhile we must be satisfied to do our work here, 
not shirking any of this life's duties, and making our- 
selves worthy of the reunion which will come in good 
time. The readiness is all. 

Nor have we altogether to wait till the future for 
our partial communion. Even the most stricken may 
be enabled to endure to the end if they can learn from 
time to time a channel is open for their thoughts and 
aspirations to be felt; still more if by patience, in ways 
at present unsuspected, aome reasonable foundation 
for personal conviction of reciprocal interest and af- 
fection ia vouchsafed to them. 

Some there are now who have had this experience, 
and imri: thus learnt the truth of the ancient saying 
that LOVE BRIDGES THE CHASM. 



CHAPTER XI 



COMMUNICATIONS FEOM SOLDIERS WHO HAVE "DIED 



We now come to those cases where messages have ap- 
parently been received by the living from those who 
have gone before — relatives or friends of theirs who 
have been killed in the present world-war, in most in- 
stances, — which tend to show us that those whom we 
have been accustomed to think of as "dead" are in 
fact yet alive, and capable, at times, of communicating 
with those yet in the body, through certain instruments 
or sensitives known as psychics or mediums. The first 
case of this kind I adduce is, it seems to me, very strik- 
ing, — not only by reason of the fact stated, but also 
because of the utter frankness of the writer, which at 
once disarms criticism, and compels belief. 

The author of the following account, who remains 
anonymous, is, we are assured, a well-known business 
man who, until his experiences, was sceptical regard- 
ing the kind of phenomena here set forth. The account 
is taken from the Harbinger of Light (Melbourne), 
January, 1918, being quoted by that periodical from 
The London Magazine. The account reads : 

"Out of the many conflicting prophecies as to how 
the war will affect the future, one stands out pre-emi- 
nent in its promise of fulfilment. Without doubt, an 
extraordinary and broadcast interest has been roused 
in things spiritual which promises far-reaching effects. 

"We are no longer satisfied with dogmatic creedi 



COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 271 

or cut-and-dried phrases reduced for many to a mean- 
ingless jangle of words by centuries of reiteration. 
Only lack of thought made them acceptable in an age of 
materialism which the war has brought crashing about 
us. 

"To have our youths cut off from us at the very 
beginning of their manhood seems so unnatural that 
we cannot all accept it in stoic silence. The eternal 
questions, 'Whence come wet "Whither do we go!' be- 
come insistent in their demands for an answer, and 
it is to those who are seeking this answer I commend 
what my wife and I have to relate. Not that it is con- 
clusive in itself, except as a first link in the chain which 
we ourselves can forge in our search t6wards the In- 
finite. 

"I have no doubt there are many who, like myself, 
dazed by a sudden loss, with a hurt past expressing, 
have believed their dear ones gone forever beyond all 
recall; and it is to those I would address myself in the 
hope of bringing them the comfort we have derived 
from our strange and wonderful experiences. 

"I am just an ordinary man of business, dealing 
with figures all day; I have no scientific training, and 
no professed religion; I have no arguments to offer, 
no axe to grind; I merely give facts, simple in their 
detail, but which served to convince me that all nvy 
preconceived ideas must go by the board. 

"In November, 1916, my son was mortally wounded 
while leading his men at Beamnont-Hamel, and several 
days later died, on the verge of his nineteenth birthday. 
My wife and I went to France, where in a military 
hospital we had a few words with him before he passed 
over. He was an only child, and the sentiment between 
him and his mother, who is exceptionally young, was 



272 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

as much the outcome of an intimate friendship ami 
delightful companionship as it was due to her matei 
relation: the loss to her is a threefold one. 



Deep-rooted Prejudice Defeated 

"I will not dwell upon that last meeting. On 
return to England a friend, anxious to help my wife 
in her great grief, sent her Sir Oliver Lodge's book, 
Raymond. Such was my prejudice that I begged her 
not to read it. However, I did not feel justified in per- 
sisting in face of her expressed desire to do so, but I 
was emphatic that I should not be asked to be a pi 
to what I considered absolute folly. 

"She was so impressed with what she read and 
prospect it opened out to her that she used every avail- 
able argument to lessen my prejudice and induce me ti 
read it. ' Men like Sir Oliver Lodge, Sir William Eai 
shaw Cooper, Mr. Arthur Balfour, Lord Dewar, Si 
William F. Barrett, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Will- 
iam Crookes, all men of science and letters, had,' she 
said, 'after years of research and consideration, ranged 
themselves on the side of belief. ' It might be that I, 
an ordinary business man who had given no thought 
to the occult or to theological matters of any kind, was 
the one in error, not they! These arguments seemt 
to me reasonable, and I changed my mind and decidi 
to read it. 

"However, I was in no way convinced, though 
thought it a beautiful theory and realized my mistake 
in condemning it unread. I felt it might be a consola- 
tion to her, bo agreed to help in any way possible. SI 
wrote to Sir Oliver Lodge asking his advice. He km 
nothing about us, but out of kindness to one sufiVriiij 



and 

rnal 

our 



'as 

1 






COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 273 

a loss similar to his own, he introduced us to a friend 
whom he thought would be helpful, who had also ex- 
perienced a like bereavement. 

"In January of this year she anonymously ar- 
ranged a sitting for us with Mr. A. Vout Peters, and 
at our first attempt to explore the unknown we were 
told that our boy on going over was met by 'John, 
Elizabeth, William, and Edward.' These four names 
only were given. John was my father ; Elizabeth my 
mother; William my brother. My father has been dead 
about thirty-six years, my brother William about thir- 
ty-five years, and my mother over two years. Ed- 
ward I could not place, but, impressed by the accuracy 
of the first three names, I wrote to my eldest brother 
inquiring about a child who, I knew, had died in in- 
fancy before I was born. I had an immediate reply, 
informing me that a child named Edward had died at 
the age of twelve weeks. 

A Very Personal Test 

"Another remarkable instance occurred upon this 
first occasion. The boy knowing my unbelief, said he 
was anxious to give me proof of his presence, and he 
proceeded to do this through reference to a matter 
ntthiiutfhi personal and knoton only to my wife and 
myself. It is so peculiarly private that I do not care 
to add it to this statement. Among other things, he 
also reminded me of a youthful school fellow of his to 
whom I had given an uncommon nickname, which had 
Btuck to this boy through his schooldays. 

"Although my boy's name was not Roger, he had 
always been called so, except by his mother, who had 
converted it into the pet name of Poger. The medium 



274 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

told us he was getting a name through. It was R-o-. 
He could not make out the next two letters but the last 
was 'r\ I replied, 'That is the boy's name — you mean 
Roger.' Instantly the medium answered, 'The boy 
says I am not to say "Roger — but Poger." ' 

"My curiosity, if nothing more, was roused by these 
phenomena,— to me inexplicable. I felt I could not 
leave the matter there. I had entered into it purely to 
find consolation for my wife, hut I realized I might 
find something more. 

"Some weekB later, again anonymously, we madi 
an appointment with another medium, Mrs. Osborne 
Leonard. As upon the previous occasion, tbis medium 
knew nothing of us, why we had come, or concerning 
whom we sought information. The first thing she did 
was to give us an exact description of our boy, also the 
name Poger, adding that Elizabeth, John, and William 
were near, helping him. 

"Unknown to me, my wife had been concerned at 
the absence of her own letters among many others shi 
bad found in the boy's returned belongings, although 
she had made no mention of this. The medium was 
insistent that Roger was pointing out a satchel with 
flap which was among his things and had been over- 
looked. 'There,' she said, 'his mother would find thi 
writing she was in search of.' On looking in the place 
indicated, the satchel with the flap, just as described, 
was found, and in it all his mother's letters and noth- 
ing else. 

"Then followed a particularly interesting and con- 
vincing instance. The medium stretched forth her 
hand, which, she said, held something that looked like 
a coin and yet did not seem one, but she was very 
definite about its being bronze. My wife suggested 









COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 275 

that it might be a regimental brass button which he 
had had made into a locket for her, but the medium 
insisted that if we searched things thoroughly we wonld 
find a bronze object which answered to the description 
given. Roger was anxious it should be found and a 
hole made in it that his mother might wear it as a 
token. We had no previous knowledge of his having 
possessed anything of this nature, no mention had been 
made of it in his letters, but on returning home we 
found in a little stud-box a penny bent nearly double 
by a bullet 

Conviction Follows Investigation 

"By this time I was thoroughly convinced that com- 
munication had been established with my boy, and was 
most anxious to pursue it further. At this stage a 
friend told us of a Mrs. Annie Brittain, a medium to 
whom we also owe some very convincing proofs. 

"Upon the first occasion in which she acted as me- 
dium I was told from my father and mother that I 

would be approached by J (my brother) regarding 

a matter with which I was to advise him to have noth- 
ing to do. My brother lives in the North of England, 
and as I had not the slightest idea of what this message 
might mean, I got into touch with him over the tele- 
phone and asked him if he wanted to see me about 
anything. He answered, 'Yes, I was just going to 
write to you.' My reply was: 'Whatever it is about 
have nothing to do with it. This is a message from 
our father and mother.' He said he wanted my advice 
as he contemplated contesting my mother's will. 

"Both my parents' names were gH^, and thongh 
my son appeared in the Army List as Leslie Stuart 



'ere 

One 
lied 

too 
es; 
eo- 
in- 
r's, 
jftt 



276 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

"Wilkinson, his name again came through as ' 
We were also told upon this occasion that 'there were 
two boys with him — Geoffry and Malcolm. ' Both were 
cousins who had passed over during the war. One 
went down in the Defence, the other was recently killet 
in action. 

"It would take too long and perhaps encroach too 
much space, to give in detail all our varied experiences ; 
suffice it to say we had the minutest description of peo- 
ple belonging to us, and in some cases intimate in- 
stances in their lives. The manner of my mother's 
father's, and brother's deaths were told me, and that 
two of these deaths were due to accidents, details of 
which were described. Shortly after the death of my 
wife's father, which occurred since Roger's, and is 
the most recent death in our family, we were told of 
his presence with the boy, his name was given and a 
perfect description of him, 

"In conclusion I will give the strangest and most 
wonderful experience of all, though it is of an almost 
sacred nature, and only our desire to soften and as- 
suage the grief of others induces me to write of it. 
While my wife was nursing her father at Brighton the 
boy one morning stood beside her in broad daylight. 
It was about eight o'clock. No theory or explanation 
will make her accept it as an impression or possible 
hallucination. She firmly believes the boy to have been 
actually present. 

' ' A few days later she returned to town, having n 
no mention of this to any one, and only told me as 1 
met at the station. That same afternoon we saw I 
Brittain, Almost the first thing she said was, ' 
boy wants me to tell his mother it was not a drea 
—the veil was allowed to be lifted for one second. 






COMMUNICATIONS PROM SOLDIERS 277 

added Mrs. Brittain, 'Joan has also seen him.' Joan 
is an intimate young friend, who a little time before 
had told my wife, to her astonishment, that she (Joan) 
had actually seen him under conditions which placed 
out of bounds the possibility of its having been a 
dream. Mrs. Brittain had never heard of and knew 
nothing of Joan. She told us many strange things at 
this extraordinary sitting. Thus far no medium had 
given my wife the name of endearment the boy used 
to her, and she was transfigured with joy when this 
time he said, 'Good-bye, Angel,' the name she was 
most used to from him. 

"// any one had told me a year ago that I could read, 
much less write with ondence, the instances here set 
down, I would have regarded it as impossible. I should, 
therefore, like to warn the sceptic who may chance 
upon this not to cast it aside with a sneer from what 
he considers a superior attitude. Discard if you must, 
after careful consideration and an effort to understand ; 
but great is the temerity of the man who without care 
or thought flippantly sets aside the profoundest of 
questions. 

"Whatever our religion, let us be sure that no one 
of us has a monopoly of truth. By searching the be- 
liefs of others we may find that which answers our 
greatest need and completes onr own imperfect con- 
ception." 

The next two cases, giving good evidence of identity, 
are from Sir William Barrett's book On the Threshold 
of the Unseen. The author calls the cases, respectively, 
1 ' The Chatham Case, ' ' and ' ' The Pearl Tie-Pin Case. ' ' 



278 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

The Chatham Case 

"In this case the communicating intelligence 
unknown to Mrs. E. The circumstances, written di 
at the time, were as follows: — A cousin of my hostess, 
an officer in the Engineers, named B., was paying a 
visit to Hawthorn Manor. I was not present, but the 
facts were sent to me; some, indeed, came under my 
own knowledge. B. had a friend, a brother officer, 
Major C, who died after B. left Chatham, mid to whoso 
rooms in the barracks he frequently went to play on 
C.'s piano, both being musical. Of this Mrs. E. as- 
sured me she knew absolutely nothing. ... Al 
the sitting in question, much to B.'s amazement, foi 
he was quite ignorant of Spiritualism, the Christian 
name and surname of Major C. were unexpectedly 
given, followed by the question, addressed to B., 'Have 
you kept up your music f' Then came some private 
matter of a striking character, when suddenly the un- 
seen visitant interjected the question, 'What was done 
with the booksT' 'What books,' was asked. 'Lent 
to me,' was C.'s reply. 'Who lent you the books T* 

The reply came at once, 'A ,' giving the name of 

another brother officer, of whose existence Mrs. E. was 

also wholly unaware. ' Shall I write to ask A if he 

has them!' B. asked. 'Yes,' was the reply. Al! pres- 
ent assert on their word of honour they knew of no such 
loan, nor was the officer named in any of their thoughts, 
nor had Mrs. E. ever heard A.'s name mentioned 
fore. 

"A was written to, and the questions about 

books incidentally asked, but in a reply that came s< 
time after no notice was taken of the question. 1 
months later, however, B. accidentally met his fri 



n 

: 

: 



COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 27!> 

— , when, in course of conversation on other mat- 
ters, A suddenly exclaimed : 'That was a rum thing 

you asked me about in your letter; I mean about Major 
C. and the books. I did lend him some books, but I 
don't know what became of them after his death.' " 






The Pearl Tie-Pin Case 

"Miss C, the sitter, had a cousin, an officer with our 
Army in France, who was killed in battle a month pre- 
viously to the sitting: this she knew. One day after 
the name of her cousin had unexpectedly spelt out on 
the ouija board, and her name given in answer to her 
query 'Do you know who I am,' the following message 1 
came: — 

" 'Tell mother to give my pearl tie-pin to the girl I 
was going to marry, I think she ought to have it.' 
When asked what was the name and address of the 
lady, both were given, the name spelt out included the 
full Christian and surname, the latter being a very 
unusual one and quite unknown to both sitters. The 
address given in London was either fictitious or taken 
down incorrectly, as a letter sent there was returned, 
and the whole message was thought to be fictitious. 

"Sis months later, however, it was discovered that 
the officer had been engaged, shortly before he left 
for the front, to the very lady whose name was given; 
he had however told no one. Neither his cousin nor 
any of his own family in Ireland were aware of the 
fact and had never seen the lady nor heard her name, 
until the War Office sent over the deceased officer's 
effects. Then they found that he had put this lady's 
name in his will as his next of kin, both Christian and 
ne as given through the 



280 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

automatist; and what is equally remarkable, a peai 
tie-pin was found in his effects. 

"Both the ladies have signed a document they Bei 
me, affirming the accuracy of the above statement. Tin 
message was recorded at the time, and not written from 
memory after verification had been obtained. Here 
there could be no explanation of the facts by subliminal 
memory, or telepathy, or collusion, and the evidence 
points unmistakably to a telepathic message from the 
deceased officer." 



i: 

he 



An Apparition Narrates Facts 



I next give an account of a seance, published in ti 
Journal of the British S. P. B., April, 1917. M 
Salter, writing editorially, says: 

"In the following case which has been sent 
through Sir Oliver Lodge, evidence of identity was ob- 
tained in a communication purporting to come from a 
spirit. The communication was made through a pro- 
fessional medium, to whom reference is niaile under 
the name of Mr. Z. in Sir Oliver Lodge's paper on 'Re- 
cent Evidence about Prevision and Survival' (Proi 
S. P. R., Part LXXII., pp. HI it). 

"The spirit purporting to communicate was a Si 

of Colonel M and we give first Colonel M- 

account of the incident, as follows: 

" 'December 23, 1916. 
" 'On 5th October, 1916, 1 was at supper at Colo 

O 's residence in Tufnell Park. Mr. iZ.) t w 

had been asked to give a private seance, was one < 
the party and at supper whs seated on my left Durinj 
the meal he said to me, "A boy who looks to me abou 



: 






COMMUNICATIONS PROM SOLDIEBS 281 

25, dressed in the kilt, baB just come in and is standing 
now behind your chair — to me he seems to be your 
son." 

" 'He further described him to me as wearing the 
Black Watch tartan (this was an error, but one easily 
enough made, especially by a Londoner). My son was 
in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, and I said it 
would not be the boy, who had been shot through the 
head near Ypres on 8th November, 1914. Mr. (Z.) 
said, "I feel sure he is for you — he is trying to identify 
himself and is showing me a large scar, three or four 
inches long, on the left shin, looks to me as if it might 
be a foot -ball scar." 

" 'I replied that I had often seen the boy in swim- 
ming, etc., and that t<> my knowledge he had no such 
scar. 

" '(Z.) however, remained very positive and said, 
"Well ! I feel very sure he is for you, and if you make 
enquiries you will find he had this scar — he smiles and 
shows it to me again." 

" 'Some two or three days after, I met on the stair- 
case of my house an old servant who had been the boy's 
nurse many years ago, and I asked her if she remem- 
bered any such scar. 

" 'She said, "Yes, during the winter of 1910-11, 
while at Sandhurst, he had motored in to London for 
the week-end on leave." 

" 'He used a motor-bike in those days — "The roads 
were still covered with half-melted snow. The bike 
skidded and threw him. The front wheel during the 
fall tnrned round and caught his leg between the step 
and the wheel and gave bis shin a very nasty cut — five 
or six niches long. Wben he got home, about midnight, 
he woke me up to bandage the wouud before he turned 



282 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE W 

into bed, as it was bleeding badly. Before bandaging 
I washed the wound with Sanitas for fear of tetanus 
infection. ' ' 

" 'I never saw the wound and had no knowledge o: 
the scar, and therefore, had denied its existence b 
Mr. (Z.) — but he was right and I was wrong. 

" 'There could have been no "thought reading" 
this case, for the idea that the boy had such a scar as 
described did not then exist in my mind. In fact, 
"thought" quite differently. 

"'CM ,Lt.-Col. 



AR 

ring 

is 

■ 



" 'Certified that the above statement contains an 
curate summary of what took place on the occasioi 
mentioned. 

" «M. — 
(A.Z.)* 

"We have also obtained an independent statement 
from Colonel C as follows : 

" 'January 10, 1917, 

" 'I was present at the seance and supper mention 

by Colonel M and can certify that his letter co: 

tains an accurate statement of what took place. 
" 'N. C- 



: 

ion 

I 



"The following statement was obtained from the 
nurse to whom Colonel M alludes above : 

" 'January 7, 1917. 
" 'I certify that I have read the above statement, 
that I personally washed aud dressed the wound re- 
ferred to, and informed Col. M of the fact as 

recorded, and that the above is a true statement of 



COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIEBS 283 

the case, and that I am the "nurse" therein referred 
to. I was not present at. the seance and do not know 
Mr. (Z.) and therefore cannot certify to that portion 
of the statement. 

" 'Eva M .* 

"After receiving this statement we wrote to Colo- 
nel M- — — pointing oat that the nurse did not say 
which leg was injured and asking for further in- 
formation from her on this point. In reply she wrote 
to os as follows: 

" 'February 16, 1917. 
" 'I hereby certify the wound was on the left leg, 
about half-way between the ankle and the knee. 

"'EvaM .' 

"It appears that the medium, Mr. Z., was justified in 
his assertion that the young soldier who wished to 

communicate with Colonel M — apparently his 

son — had a scar on his left leg. It came to our knowl- 
edge that upon another recent occasion a spirit pur- 
porting to communicate through Mr. Z. (in no way 

connected with Colonel M ) had referred to a 

scar on his right leg as a proof of identity. In this case 
also it happened that the statement was correct, but this 
second incident suggested that Mr. Z. might he in the 
habit of making allusions to scars on the chance of 
scoring a hit. We have, however, made enquiries of 
Beveral people who have had sittings repeatedly with 
Mr. Z. and they tell us that in their own experience he 
has not referred to a scar. It appears unlikely there- 
fore that the occurrence of two recent cases in which a 
spirit purporting to communicate through Mr. Z. has 
referred correctly to a scar on one of his legs is merely 
a coincidence. 



- 

>wl- 
-*s 

lit 

at 



284 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE W 

"Whatever was the source of the medium's knowl- 
edge it does not appear to have been Colonel M— 
raind, as lie himself has pointed out, and it is difficult 
to see upon what normal source of information Mr. 
could have drawn. 

"Upon this point Colonel M — ~ informs us tha' 
until the evening of October 5, 1917, 'I had never met 
or heard of Mr. Z., no one of the company at the table 
or in the house had acquaintance with my son, or knew 
him by sight.' " 

The next account was published in the Internationa 
Psychic Gazette, of London. Writing editorially, Mr. 
John Lewis, the editor, says: 

In giving the following account, furnished to us by 
Count Haraon, of a remarkable seance, the medium at 
which was the Rev. Susannah Harris, it should be men- 
tinned that the sitting was given by the medium with 
out payment, and in the interests of psychic seism 
We know personally all those mentioned as havi 
been present, and have seen the letters referred to 1 
Count Hamon. 

On Monday, May 14, 1917, I attended in a private 
house a seance at which Mrs. Harris was the medium 
There were present on this occasion, amongst severa. 
others whose names I am not authorized to mention 
Miss Scatcherd, Mrs. Dixson-Hartland, and Dr. Hei 
tor Munro. 

After many convincing conversations with spirits 
by means of the "direct voice" had occurred, a spirit 
visitor came and said very distinctly, "I want to send 
a message to my father." 

"Who are yon I" we asked. 

The spirit replied, "I am an officer recently killed i 



COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 285 

the front in Flanders; my name is ." We could 

not hear the name very distinctly, so after some re- 
peated efforts to" get it, we said, "Well, leave the name 
alone for the moment and try to give us the message." 

Speaking very slowly at first, the spirit said, "My 
father lives near Dublin; you will find him at the well- 
known club there." 

A gentleman present asked, "Which club do you 
meant" 

The spirit replied, "The Kildare-street Club; you 
know it well, and you also know my father." 

As no one had caught the name of the father exactly 
right, the gentleman referred to said, "I know the 
Kildare-street Club very well, but I do not think I 
know your father; but give us the message." 

Continuing, the spirit went on, "My father is always 
worrying and unhappy about me; he can't seem to get 
over it. I want some one to tell him that I came here 
tonight to get this through as a test message to him, 
to tell him not to worry about me as I am all right, 
and glad to have gone through it, and I want him to 
know that I am all right and not to worry and be un- 
happy any more." 

After a slight pause, he continued, "My father also 
goes to mediums in Dublin, and I try to give him mes- 
sages through them, but I want this sent on to him 
as a test message." 

We again asked him to try to give us the name, and 
we got one part — the Christian name — very distinctly, 
but the surname was always so slurred that we were 
unable to catch it clearly, and after many efforts had 
to give it up. But before we did so, I promised that I 
would do all I could to send on his message. 

The next morning I wrote a letter to the name I 



286 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE \VA 

thonght it had sounded like, addressing it to the 
dare-street Club. In about a week this letter was 
turned to me through the Post Office marked "Na 
not known," 

I was considerably worried as to what I should do 
next, until the thought came to me that I should write 
to the secretary of the club simply saying that I was 
anxious to find a gentleman who, I believe, was a mei 
ber of his club, whose son had recently been killed 
Flanders; that the name was something like so-and-so, 
and that I had a message to give him about his son. 

Now comes the strangest part of this strange story. 
In a few days, I received a letter from the gentleman in 
question, saying that the secretary had sent him my 
letter, and adding, "I have had a message from my 
son who was recently killed in Flanders, saying he had 
sent me a message through a medium in London, that 
he had difficulty in getting the name and address 
through but he wanted to give me a test." The father 
added: "If you understand this I hope you will send 
me his message." In another paragraph the writer 
continued: "I seo your name is Hamon. I am descend- 
ed from a Huguenot family, and twice they married 
into the Hamon family, also Huguenots; their name 
was also de Eobillard, Counts of Champagne. It may 
interest you." 

Now here was the case of a gentleman who had not 
yet come into contact with me receiving through a me- 
dium m Dublin a message from his son in the spirit 
world — stating clearly what had taken place at our 
seance in London — and sending his son's message be- 
fore he had received it from me. It was also strange 
that I should have been the person so strongly im- 
pressed to obey the request made by the spirit to try 



m- 

so, 






COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 287 

and get into communication with his father, and by bo 
doing be brought in contact with a branch of my own 
family that I did not know existed in Ireland. 

Among the many remarkable instances I have met 
with of accurate psychic messages, this is, I consider, 
one of the moat remarkable and worthy of being placed 
on record. 

Mr. Robert Mountsier, in the January (1918) Book- 
man, writing on "Spiritualism in England," says: — 

In the minds of those remote from the war these 
losses tend to be little more than mathematical sym- 
bols; to those directly concerned they are the facts of 
death, from which it is impossible to escape. For in- 
stance, what does a list of the men lost on H.M.S. In- 
vincible, which went down in the great naval battle 
off Jutland, mean to you! The list of a thousand 
names begins : / 

NAVY ROLL OF HONOUR 
Killed 
Rear-Admiral the Hon. Horace L. A. Hood 
Secretary Harold R. Gore Brown 
Lieutenant Frank P. O'Reilly 
Assistant Paymaster Lewis R. Tippen 

And this record of death endB: 
Worters, L. G., London Z.1942; Wright, J., Tyne, Z. 
6863; Wright, SS.104319; Wyatt, A. H., 181053. 

To you this list of names may mean in the abstract 
nothing more than a company of brave men as in- 
definite in its physical make-up as any gallant crew 
mentioned in one of your old history text-books. To 
thousands in England it meant and still means tears, 



288 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

suffering, desolation, loneliness. One person overcome 
with grief by the destruction of the Invincible is my 
friend, Mrs, Stuart— to give her a name other than her 
own, which I am not at liberty to use. Her seventeen- 
year-old son Edward, an only child, was one of the mid- 
shipmen lost with the Invincible. When the newspa- 
pers and a telegram from the Admiralty removed the 
hope that her son might have been saved, she gave her- 
self up to a consuming grief. Nothing could console 
her. Friends enlarged upon the theme, "He went to 
a gallant death, dying for you and England." The 
viear came with these words, "Comfort yourself with 
the thought that his death is God's will, that he awaii 
you in heaven." 

Mrs. Stuart's reply was always the same: "I am 
mother who wants her boy above everything else, and 
what you say is to me nothing but words, mere words. 
If I only knew where he is ! " 

Now Mrs. Stuart has the knowledge she longed for. 
Having gone to a private seance, attended by a small 
group of people, Mrs. Stuart was startled by hearing 
the medium give a description that fitted her son. 

"A young man, a boy, has a message for some one 
here. I see a uniform; it is the blue of the navy. The 
boy is tall, stands very straight. Has black hair and 
eyes softly luminous. Nose long and delicate. His 
lips are thin and sensitive. When he smiles there is 
dimple on his right cheek." 

"It's my boy," interrupted Mrs. Stuart, without 
realizing that she had spoken until the medium said, 
"He wants to talk with his mother." 

"You must not grieve so for me, mother. Again am 
again I have come to you when you have been sreepiiu 
for me. But you haven't been able to know that I wai 



he 
th 

: 

id 

is. 



d 

it 









COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 289 

there. Really, I am quite happy, and there is no reason 
why you should make yourself so unhappy. You are 
like so many others; you will not believe that there is 
audi a thing as my talking to yon. At first I did not 
know this myself, but now I understand." 

Up to this point in the seance there is nothing ex- 
traordinary, except the description of Edward Stuart. 
Later the medium solemnly swore to Mrs. Stuart that 
before the spirit of Edward Stuart appeared she had 
never heard nor read of either the mother or her son. 
As to the beginning of the message it is not unfair to 
assume that any medium or any person who has studied 
the messages so frequently communicated by mediums 
should be able to utter the same words without any 
connection with the "other side." 

The voice of the medium continued : ' ' You should not 
think, mother, that I suffered when the ship went down. 
You are always picturing to yourself my last hours 
as horrible torture. Those hours are the most wonder- 
ful I ever had on your side. When we were going down 
Weaving came to me. He was very calm. He said: 
'You and I are going to leave all this. Let us go.' 
And we came over." 

Immediately upon returning home Mrs. Stuart went 
to a list of those lost on the Invincible. There was the 
name of Weaving, a name which was in a part of the 
list she had never looked at before and which her son 
had never mentioned in his letters. The day following 
the seance she secured from the Admiralty the address 
of a member of Weaving's family. By correspondence 
she learned that Weaving, a man of education, had 
been interested in Spiritualism, but had never consulted 
a medium. Weaving's letters to his family had con- 
tained no references to Edward Stuart by name. 



290 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAK 

After carefully investigating those features of the 
ease that were susceptible of fraud, Mrs. Stuart Wi 
convinced that she had been in communication with tin 
spirit of her departed son. Spiritualism has broughl 
her consolation. 



Mr. Mountsier further says: 

Extraordinary communications, but prove that they 
are true, is the attitude of the sceptic Extraordinary, 
yes, as we of this world view things, but prove that 
they are not true, is the position taken by the Spirit- 
ualist. 

The sceptic, however, is no more able to disprove 

them than he is able to prove that Mrs. H did not 

see the spirit of her son upon four different occasions 
at her home in Lancashire. On a "Wednesday evening 
the mother was sitting alone at tea when she heard 
the door open and saw her boy enter and lean against 
the wall just inside. "With an exclamation of delight 
at his return, she got up to greet him, when to her 
surprise he went out again and shut the door. Think- 
ing that he had gone to buy cigarettes, she hurried out 
to two shops nearby and made inquiries. No one 
seen her Bon. She decided that he had met friends 
would return later, so she left the door open all evi 
ning and sat up till eleven o'clock waiting for him. 

The next afternoon while Bewing she happened to 
lift her eyes and there sitting on a stool was her son. 
She approached to kiss him, but again he disappei 
without a word. 

Friday evening, after having tea, she waB stani 
tea-pot in hand, when again she saw him appear 
the door. 

"My boy," she cried, "don't leave your mother 



he 

1 



out 
had 
and 
eve- 
n. 






COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIEBS 2M 

time! Come in and sit down and have a cup of tea." 

"I can't, mother," came the reply, "I'm done. I 
want to go to bed." 

Then she noticed for the first time that there was 
blood on his breast. "Go up to your room, and I will 
come and wash you and bring you a cup of tea." 

She heard him go up. Within a few minutes she fol- 
lowed and found him standing by the bedside. Sud- 
denly he fell on the bed. He rolled over on his back, 
and the mother saw the bed covered with blood. With 
an exclamation of dismay she caught up the sponge and 
turned again to the bed. No one was there, and the 
bed was spotless and undisturbed. 

For the first time she realized that it was not the ac- 
tual physical presence of her son that had been before 
her. The next day, Saturday, the son appeared for the 
fourth time, telling her not to fret, for everything was 
all right with him. 

The next morning when the postman came to the 
door she said, "You have brought me bad news." A 
letter he gave her contained the news of her son 's death 
at the front. He bad been killed on the previous 
Wednesday, the day on which he had first appeared be- 
fore hie mother. 

What can the sceptic say that will make this woman 
believe she did not see her son? Or how can the sceptic 
prove to the satisfaction of over one hundred officers 

and men that they did not see Col. on the day that 

he died several hundred miles distant from the trenches 
where they were stationed T 

This is the story. Col. , of one of England's 

famous regiments, was idolized by the officers and sol- 
diers under him. There was no sacrifice they would 
not make for him, and he was equally devoted to their 



292 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE W. 

Interests. He shared their dangers in Flanders 
year, until one morning he was wounded by a hand 
grenade which caused the loss of his right arm. When 
after a number of months lie was fitted with an artificial 
arm he used all the influence possible to get back to his 
old regiment. The War Office was obdurate. He could 
not return to fighting in Flanders. However, if h< 
wished he could have the command of a garrison ba' 
talion that would first be landed at Lvmnos. 

He accepted, but his heart was with his old n 
They heard of his new command, but all of them, of- 
ficers and men, believed that the colonel would succeed 
in getting back to them. Shortly after landing at Lem- 
nos the colonel became ill with dysentery. He was put 
aboard a hospital ship which reached a channel port on 
a Tuesday. At noon the next day the colonel was 
placed on a hospital train, but he never reached Lon- 
don, for he died just half an hour later. 

At the hour of the colonel's death a company of 
old regiment saw him in their trench in Flande: 
The company sergeant-major turned to the company 
commander, "Beg your pardon, sir, here's Colonel 
coming round j didn 't know he was back again. ' ' 

The officer looked up, and there stood the colonel, 
with his cap just a little on one side as he always wore 
it and with a pair of binoculars, familiar to all 
men, slung around his neck. 

The company commander started toward 1 
dropped his stick and stooped to pick it up. When 
straightened up again the colonel was gtmel. Down 
communication trench rushed the officer to company 
headquarters. The oflicers there had also scon tl 
colonel "We looked at him for fully a minute, 
suddenly he was not there. We can't make it 



is 

! 

s 

li- 
lt 
in 
ras 
on- 

his 
>rs. 






COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 293 

either, for we thought he was in the Dardanelles. Be- 
sides all the men saw Mm, and he had both his arms." 

Not until the nest week did the regiment learn of 
the colonel's death. Not one of the hundred and more 
men who had seen him even knew until then that the 
colonel had left the Mediterranean. 

No matter what you and I believe, no matter what 
arguments we might put forward in attempting to 
prove that the colonel or his spirit did not appear, that 
company saw its former colonel. They know they 
did 

General Sir Alfred Turner, who in more than twen- 
ty-five years of psyehic research has had seances with 
numerous mediums of various nationalities, tells me 
he has come in contact with very few who are not gen- 
uine. Recently he has had a number of sittings with 
three mediums in whose powers and integrity he has 
the utmost confidence because of repeated tests and 
communications. 

At one of these sittings, with a medium known as 
Mr. Craddock, a distinguished general officer, who died 
in the Sudan thirty-one years ago, appeared to the 
medium and General Turner, "as clearly aa in his 
physical life," said General Turner in telling the de- 
tails. He asked the spirit what had happened to his 
son, who was an officer in the Guards and who had been 
reported "missing, believed killed." The father re- 
plied that his son is a prisoner in Germany, and that 
owing to shell-shock his memory is completely de- 
stroyed, and he cannot recall his name to give to his 
captors. 

When sitting with X., a medium of more than ordi- 
nary powers, there came a voice calling General Turner 
"uncle." He could not identify the source of the com- 



294 PSYCI1ICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 



munication until the spirit gave his Christian name 
then General Turner recognized him as a boy of oin< 
teen, an officer in the Guards, who although not 
nephew had always addressed him as uncle. General 
Turner knew that the boy had been brutally murdered 
by a German officer. The battalion of the Guards to 
which the boy belonged was being pressed back by the 
Germans in greatly superior numbers when he was 
wounded by a piece of shrapnel. His comrades, un- 
able to carry him, saw him shot by a German officer. 
Later this German was captured, identified, tried by 
court-martial and shot. 

At this seance the boy told General Turner that he 
was perfectly happy and had no wish to return to 
earth. He Baid that since his spirit had left his body 
he had been helped by other spirita. 

At a subsequent seance General Turner was in com- 
munication with the boy a second time, but with a 
different medium, Mrs. Susannah Harris. Through 
one of her control spirits, called Harmony, Genen 
Turner addressed a question to this nineteen-year-oli 
officer of the Guards relating to the fellow-officer 
ported missing, believed killed" and said by the spi; 
of the father to be a prisoner in Germany. 

"Is Captain with youT" 

"No," came the reply, "he is still on your sicli 
He was made a prisoner. The people around him 
not learn who he is. He is suffering from shell-shoi 
and he knows nothing about the past." 

"Does he know Ids name!" 

"No, he has forgotten everything." 

As yet no information has been received from G 
many verifying these corroborative communicatii 
from different Bpirits through different mediums. Bi 



e; 

a 

al 









COMMUNICATIONS FKOM SOLDIERS 295 

the Spiritualist is just as firm in his belief of the truth 
of these communications as the Christian, who does 
not demand material proof of his religious beliefs. 

During the same seance with Mrs. Harris, General 
Turner was in communication with Lord Roberts, who 
died on November 14, 1914, after the English people 
and government had realized their mistake in not fol- 
lowing his advice in regard to preparations to offset 
Germany's military strength. This was uppermost in 
General Turner's mind, and he addressed a question 
concerning it to Lord Roberts: "Do you feel that the 
refusal of the government to listen to your warnings 
will have a disastrous effect on the outcome of the 
wart" 

"I am convinced England will be victorious," re- 
plied Lord Roberts. "If the government had only met 
Germany's activities with the proper military prep- 
arations everything on your side would be very dif- 
ferent from what it is today. Everything will be well 
in the end." 

Miss Estelle Stead, in a recent contribution to the 
English Review of Reviews, says: 

One of the most remarkable results of the war has 
been the development of what, for want of a better 
expression, I will call telegraphic communications, 
while postal service has been practically held up. Short 
messages from the "dead" telling of arrival, giving 
assurance that the transmitter is happy, and testa of 
identity are being received daily. But my experience 
and the experience of others who have studied the com- 
munications received since the outbreak of the war is 
that long and concise messages are of very rare oc- 
enrrence today. 



296 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE \\"A 

The causes for (his may be summed up as follows : 

1. The numbers passing over. 

2. The conditions around the earth plane. 

3. The mental condition of receivers here. 
Many of those who have studied communication on 

the other side — and it is by no means all who have — 
are using the knowledge they had gained, am! whi. 
they were using, before the war, to transmit longe: 
messages for themselves, and to help the newly-arrivi 
to get into touch. It appears to need all their know] 
edge and strength to get just a few words of assurani 
and comfort through, and when once the telegraphic 
message of hope and comfort has been communicated, 
little more seems able to be achieved, save a repetition 
of that message or of similar short messages of idei 
tiflcation and comfort. 

Until the newly-arrived has studied the subtletii 
and difficulties of communication for himself am 
learned how to manipulate and overcome them, he 
not be able to transmit anything in the way of a lettei 
or a longer message. Even then, having learned how 
to communicate hiniBelf — and this is a fact which many 
on this side who have received these short telegraphic 
messages and tests of identity, seemingly easily, find 
difficult to realize and grasp — much depends on the 
conditions here as to whether, once transmitted, tl 
messages will ever be received, will not be so mm 
altered and distorted as to be almost unrecognizah 
as coming from the loved son, father or husband f n 
whom they long to hear. 

The conditions around the earth plane at present 
terrible. The war is setting up so many clouds in 
mental atmosphere that, according to messages 
ceived from those on the other side, a thick black 



on 

3 

lie 






COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 297 

ness envelops the earth as a fog. This has to be pene- 
t rated by those wishing to send messages. These are 
guided in their efforts by the lights which we send 
out here. For each individual one of us here emanates 
light, the force and strength of which is regulated by 
our spiritual development and the strength of the love- 
power within us. Where there is a great love, the light 
is strong and attracts the loved ones. Where there is 
spiritual development the light is also strong and at- 
tracts many, and often those on the other side who are 
unable to get in touch with their own people will be 
able to communicate. Rut when there is spiritual 
development and a stroug bond of love powerful in its 
unselfishness, then, given the right psychic conditions, 
there will be the clearest and purest of communica- 
tions. 

These elements seem to be essential if good com- 
munications are to be obtained. As my father says in 
his message, "Commune with us for love of commu- 
nion, and all other things that love can dictate and cir- 
cumstances will permit shall be added thereto." Again 
and again I have proved, by only too bitter experience, 
that if one seekB for a message along any particular 
line or with regard to any particular subject, one is 
foredoomed to failure; that love and prayer and pa- 
tience are needed to bring about right conditions, and 
that often when we least expect it and are not looking 
for it, the message which is helpful comes and the ad- 
vice which we need is given. 

As these boys and men learn how to establish com- 
munication for themselves they in their turn help the 
more newly arrived to come into touch with their loved 
oneB even as they themselves have done. Raymond 
Lodge, who came so quickly into touch with his own 



298 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AM) THE WAB 

people after passing over, owing to the fact that they 
understood the neces sity of giving certain co&ditioBS, 
has stated, and others whom I know personally on the 
Other Side have also told me, that this is their spe- 
cial work. . . . 

Another boy was able to establish his identity and 
give proof of his con tinned existence by giving a mes- 
sage to a medium in Xew Zealand for his mother in 
England. This is the account sent me by my friend, 
Mr. Trolove, of Wellington, Xew Zealand: — 

"Four months or five months after the war started 
a medium at the circle in "Wellington, of which I am 
a member, was controlled by some distressed son] 
who wanted his mother. He gave his name and said 
his age was twenty-three, and that he had died in a 
hospital from wonnds at Compiegne. He begged us 
to write and tell his mother, and gave her name and 
address in England. Would we write and tell her he 
was happy, and that all was well with him? I wrote, 
and got a reply by return mail, acknowledging the 
facts, and thanking me for the message. 

I have in my possession from the boy's mother, the 
letter confirming Mr. Trolove's statement. 

At the W. T. Stead Bureau we have seen many re- 
unions. This bureau was opened a few weeks before 
the war, at the instigation of those on the other side, 
in order that, we now realize, it might he ready to 
help those who would be cast into mourning and despair 
through the war. The aims of the W. T. Stead Bo 
reau are the same as those of Julia's Bureau, foumlei 
by my father in 1909, and closed after his passing i 
J!) 12, and which he set forth as follows: — 

"It is not established to solve scientific proble 
nor for the purpose of physical research. Its one t 



COMMUNICATIONS PROM SOLDIERS 299 

only object is to help those who mourn to communicate 
with their loved ones who have passed on to another 
world ; to heal broken hearts, to comfort Rachel mourn- 
ing for her children, to bring sure and certain knowl- 
edge of immortality to light by restoring communica- 
tion between death-divided friends and relatives." 

Here at our weekly meetings many a boy on the 
other side has just the opportunity to find the condi- 
tions for which ho has been longing to make his pres- 
ence known to those mourning him here. It may not 
be that the actual person with whom he especially 
wishes to come in touch is present; it may be a friend, 
it may be a distant relation. The boys will Mtttd ON 
being described again and again, and bring relatives 
and friends who have passed over to be described also, 
until they have been recognized and have obtained a 
promise that a message will be conveyed, if possible, 
in order to bring about conditions so that they may be 
able to give direct evidence to their dear ones. 

Up to the present I have spoken of those who have 
been able to establish their identity and come into touch 
with their loved ones on this side. These are the for- 
tunate ones, but there are hundreds who are not able to 
bring about the right conditions. Many have to watch 
their dear ones, mourning them as dead, and are able 
to give no sign. But not only for this reason is it so 
very essential that those who have realized this truth 
and who have had it demonstrated to them by their 
friends on the other Bide should make it known when- 
ever opportunity occurs, but because it makes so much 
difference to those who are passing on if they know 
something of it. Many in passing to the Spirit World 
do not realize where they are, or what has happened. 
The only heaven they know about — if they know about 



300 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE W 

it at all — is tbe one they have been taught about as chil 
dren, and they are not abb 1 to grasp the fact that they 
have cast off their mortal bodies. They are as in a 
dream, not knowing where tbey are, trying to fight on 
and not understanding why their comrades do not 
notice them, and are unable to realize what it all means. 

"We are often told by those on the other side 
loving thoughts and prayers sent out from this 
are of enormous help, in that they concentrate power 
which enables tbe bands of spirit people working in 
the battle-fields to break down this condition and bring 
realization of tbe truth of life after death to those who 
pass over in ignorance. It is only when they them- 
selves desire to learn that they progress, and it is in 
creating this desire that our loving thoughts and pray- 
ers are helpful, and that tbe ministering spirits are 
able to come to thein and to teach them the laws of 
Spirit World. As they learn and progress their sp: 
body becomes finer and finer, and tbey are able 
realize more and more fully the glory and beauty 
the Spirit World, about which tbey can it'll us so little. 
For to understand we must be able to compare, as my 
brother wrote when my father expressed his disap- 
pointment that he could tell him 80 little of the life 
he was living: — 

"When I think of the ideas I had of the life I 
now Living, when I was m tbe wsrld in which yi 
are, I marvel at the hopeless inadequacy of my drei 
Tbe reality is so much, so very much greater, 
ever I imagined. You and I and all the people 
on earth do dwell are too apt to imagine this life 
only an extension of the old life. Everything is 
be as it is, only more so. But everything is not 
was. It is a new life, the nature of which you cannot 



- 

:hil- 



not 
:ane. 
that 

iwer 
; in 
bag 

vho 
em- 
i in 
ay- 
are 
the 

t 

• of 






COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 301 

understand, although it is possible to explain some- 
thing of it by analogy. Imagine yourBelf a caterpillar 
on a cabbage leaf. 'Things will be better on before 
you/ you say to the caterpillar. But what does 'bet- 
ter' mean to the caterpillar* More cabbages, ever more 
cabbages, and ever cabbages; more sunshine, less rain, 
and no hungry birds to eat you up. All eaterpillary 
ideas limited by the sensations and aspirations of a 
cabbage world. After a time the caterpillar becomes 
a butterfly. But bow can the butterfly explain to the 
caterpillars the condition of bis new life, the buoyancy 
of flight, the joy of love, the sweetnesB of the honey- 
flowers I These essentials of the new existence are in- 
capable of being explained to the caterpillar mind, for 
the vocabulary of the cabbage would contain no words 
capable of conveying concepts entirely alien to the 
caterpillar's senses. So it is with me. I tell yon it is 
better on before you, always, and far better than I ever 
dreamed of. But when I come down to tell you where- 
in the bctterness consists I feel like the butterfly sitting 
by the caterpillar endeavouring to explain what sight 
is, what light is, what flight is, wherein lies the joy of 
love." 

Often people will say to me, "You seem to be so in 
touch with your father; can't he tell you something 
definite about the war I" He bas told me many in- 
teresting things in connection with the war, but from 
what he says, it is impossible for him to see very far 
ahead. He foretold the great change in Russia some 
while before it happened. He baa once or twice spoken 
of the work being done on their side in connection with 
the eventual settlement, but says he is too much in 
the war conditions to be above and to seo exactly when 
the end will be. He often speaks of the great difficulty 



AR 

the 



302 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND TIIR W, 

of getting sufficiently "into tune," because of 
present conditions around the earth-plane, to talk on 
the war, or even general matters at any length. But 
he can see the light of Peace growing clearer and near- 
er, and gives this message of hope for the future: 

"The earth is now covered with black clouds, and 
a place of weariness and sadness, but the time ifl cw 
ing when it will be an earth of joy and gladness. T!*< 
see sweet peace. More light, more light will come t\ 
the two worlds blend into one." 

A "Ouija" Communication 

The following curious case is from Azoth {New 
York), and gives an account of what purports to be i 
conversation with a soldier who had been killed by ; 
bayonet wound, and was obtained through the Ouija 
Board. Mr. Michael Whitty, the editor of Azoth, was 
present at the time, and in fact, it was be who con- 
ducted the experiment of removing the fancied bayo- 
net. The account nicely illustrates, it seems to me, the 
earthly and bewildered state of mind which many 
spirits find themselves in, for some time, after they 
pass on to the other side. This is, of course, more the 
case with some than with others. In the present in- 
stance, it seems to have been very marked. 

A Talk With a Dead Soldier 

On the evening of New Year 's Day, 1916, the writer 
and three friends were trying what results they could 
get with a Ouija Board. For those who do no' 
a Ouija Board is generally considered a kind of toy 
or game, and consists of a board about 20x15 inohej 



COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 303 

bearing the letters of the alphabet and the numerals 
1-10 printed thereon, a "NO" and "YES" in the two 
upper corners and a little wooden triangle with three 
legs which slides freely and easily over the board's 
smooth surface. The way it is used — generally two 
persons each place the fingers of one hand lightly 
on the triangle, when it will begin to move, and often 
spell out words and messages. 

On this particular evening M, which stands for the 
writer, and G were trying Ouija and obtaining some 
rather disconnected words and phrases, when J came 
in; M and J then sat down to the board and Q took 
pad and pencil and recorded the letters as the triangle 
moved around and pointed to them. After a moment 
or two we began to get as follows : 

when very youn g— b ayayonet still in me 
— There seemed to be a good deal of hesitation about 
finding the letters, but with the exception of the repeti- 
tion of the ay in bayonet it came clearly. 

M asked — ' ' What is your name T ' ' The answer came 
slowly and hesitatingly Areest artees. 

Then the conversation went on as follows: 

Nobanajsoldierrsareesstillherebay- 
onetstillinme 

M. "Is your name Reesf" 

0. (0 meaning Ouija.) Yes 

M. "What is your first name!" 

0. Albert 

M, "Where were you fighting?" 

O. Imustnotell 

M. "Why not! If you have been killed it does not 
matter now." 

O. Iwillnottell 



304 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

M. "Why will you not?" 

O. yesbosBordersnotto 
M. "Are you English?" 

0. No 
M. "Are you French?" 

0. no 
M. "Are you Italian or Russian?" 

0. No Canadian 
M. "Oh, a Canadian, eh?" 

0. 1 1 h n r t 8 
M. "You are deluding yourself. If you are de; 
you are in a new body — the bayonet may be stiokinj 
in the old body but it is not really sticking in you now. 

O. justtryabityourself 
M. "Do you know any of us here?" 

0. I was the husband of cook for nir 
Weston 
M. "What was her name?" 

0. Alice 
M. "Where did she live?" 

O. Inhernbay (Probably meaning Herne Bay, 
near London) 

J. "Who is Mrs. Weston?" 

0. Apal ofyouratepm a— 
•J, "Mine?" 

0. your sstepmo t — N o — a m a 

J. "My stepma?" 

O. Yes 
M, "What are you doing round here?" 

0. Iseemtohangoutwitherlehelive 
i a n i n m e r w ( evidently mixed up) 
M. "Whom did you say you are with!' 

O. Mypalsearlthatsisname 
M, "la there no one else here?" 






COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 305 

0. onlysearlhero 
M, "Well, what do you want us to do for you!" 

O. takethisbayonctout 
M. "Can't Searl take it out for yout" 

0. heaintgotnohands 
M. "How did you get it!" 

0. gotitforxmas 

M. "Will you do exactly what I say! If you will I 
can help you." 

0. No 
M. "Wt-'ll, I can't help you unless you do what I tell 

you " 

O. Igot(t)hiaforlowingwhatonedam 
fool said 

G. "Is he writing sense!" 
O. c a n t y o u r e a d 

M. "Will you do what I tell yout If you will I can 
help you " 

0. Are you sure yon can whats it 

M. "Will you do it!" 

0. I f i o a n 

M then told him to wish himself back where his body 
was and find it, and then ho would see thc'bayonet in it 
and realize that it was not really in him now. 

O. if I go hack now ill get in a scrap 
with a bhlpoodyogerman 

M. "The dead don't fight with each other." 

0. they still scrap 

M. "Where is your mother!" 

0. she did not go to war 

M. "I don't suppose she did, but where is she!" 

O. been dead years 

M. "Well, you think of her and call her and she will 
oome to yon." 



306 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE "W. 



0. nothing doing 

M. "Well, I will pull it out for you. Place yourself 
so that the bead of the bayonet is in my hand here 
(holding out hand) — Is it the re V 

O. yesgoeasygoeasy 

M. "All right — it won't hurt (suddenly pulling 
if removing the bayonet). There — it's out now. I*vi 
got it" — (a pause). 

0. its ok now 

M. "Does it still hurt!" 

0. thats all right pleas cun ouo fo 
m e 

M. "Now, what about SearlT Perhaps I can fix u 

his hands ■" 

0. heissleapiug 

M. "Well, goodnight " 

0. t h a n k s 



- 



This is actually and exactly what passed. "Whether 
it really was a Canadian soldier killed last Christmas 
and who imagined the bayonet was still sticking in him 
and giving him great pain or not — I leave others to 
judge for themselves. 

Raymond 

Every one interested in psychical literature ha 
doubtless read Sir Oliver Lodge's book Raymond. 
is, indeed, bo well-known that it might almost seen 
superfluous to quote any passages from it. Neverthe- 
less, inasmuch as no book dealing with the w 
psychic phenomena would be complete without some 
extended mention of this work, I will quote, here, a 
few extracts from the most important passages of 
Sir Oliver Lodge's book, written to show that Ray- 






COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 307 

mond Lodge, his son, who was killed September 14, 
1915, actually communicated with him through various 
mediums; and for this purpose I extract passages from 
the famous "Faunus" Message, and from the narrated 
incident of the "Group Photograph." Writing of the 
first intimations he received that something was about 
to happen, Sir Oliver Lodge Bays : 

The Faunus Message 

Messages of an intelligible though rather recon- 
dite character began to reach me indeed a week or two 
before the death of my son. The first intimation that 
I had that anything might be going wrong, was a mes- 
sage from Myers (Frederic W. H,, the great re- 
searcher, poet, author, some years deceased), through 
Mrs. Piper in America.; communicated apparently by 
Richard Hodgson at a time when a Miss Robbins was 
having a sitting at Mrs. Piper's house, Greenfield, 
N. H., AugUBt 8, 1915, and sent to me by Miss Alta 
Piper, together with the original script. Here fol- 
lows the extract which began abruptly thus : — 

R. H. "Now, Lodge, while we are not here as of old, 
t. 0., not quite, we are here enough to give and take 



"Myers says you take the part of the poet, and he 
will act as FaunuB." 

Miss R. " Faunus V 

R, H. "Yes, Myers. Protect. He will understand." 
(Evidently referring to Lodge). 

"What have you to say, Lodge t Good work. Ask 
Verrall, she will also understand, Arthur says so" 
(this means Arthur W. Verrall, deceased. — O. J. L.). 

Misb R. "Did you mean Arthur Tennysonf " 



308 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND TnE WAK 

B. H. "No; Myers knows. . . . Myers is straight 
about Poet and Faimus." 

To non -classical people this moans nothing. It moanl 
nothing very definite at that time to Lodge, exeepi 
that there was, indeed, a meaning and that a schola: 
like Mrs. Verrall would be able to interpret it, 

It will be remembered, however, that in his former 
frequent communications to Lodge and his other fellow 
researchers that Myers, poet and classical scholar as 
he was, had dealt in these recondite allusions to poetry 
which would mean nothing to the ordinary man but 
so much to the seholar. 

In these communications formerly given in parts, 
of classical references through mediums far distant 
from each other and simultaneously, the piecing to- 
gether of which made an intelligible whole, Myers had 
delighted in showing his old fondness for the poets 
and forging a chain of evidence which to the logical 
mind seemed well-nigh irresistible. These are tech- 
nically called "Cross Correspondences." 

Sir Oliver, therefore, wrote Mrs. Verrall : ' ' Does the 
Poet and Faunus mean anything to youT Did one pro- 
tect the othert" 

She replied at once (Sept. 8, 1915) referring 
to Horace, Carni. II, XVII, 27-30, and saying:— 

"The reference is to Horace's account of his nar- 
row escape from death, from a falling tree, which bo 
ascribes to the intervention of Faunus." 

"I perceived, therefore," says Sir Oliver, "thai 
some blow was going to fall, or was likely to fall, 
and that Myers would intervene, apparently to pro 
me from it." 

This "Faunus Message" reached Sir Oliver at 
beginning of September, while lie was in Scotland, 



pro- 
him 






COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 309 

,aymond was killed near Yprcs on the 14th of Sep- 
;ember, 1915. 

The Sequel 

What steps did Myers take to lighten the blow — for 
lighten" is the true meaning of "levasset," not to 
ard off entirely, trat to "lessen"! 

To prove Myers' fulfilment of his promised aid, 
Sir Oliver quotes the record of sittings with mediums 
in England previously unknown and by sitters who 
gave no sort of clue to their identity. Members of 
his family went anonymously to sittings arranged for 
by a friend in London. 

The family heard of Raymond's death on the 17th 
of September, ami on the 25th Lady Lodge was having 
an anonymous sitting for a friend with Mrs. Leonard, 
then a complete stranger, and had the following 
spelled-out for her by tilts of the table, as purporting 
to come from Raymond : — 

"Tell father I have met some friends of his." 

Lady Lodge: "Can you give me any name I" 

"T«, Myersl" 

On the 27th, Sir Oliver went to London and had his 
first sitting with Mrs. Leonard. He went as a stranger 
— the appointment being made for him by a friend. The 
medium was entranced and the guide "Feda" de- 
scribed a youth in terms which suggested Raymond. 

Feda: "He finds it difficult, he says; but he has got 
so many kind friends assisting him. He did not think 
when he waked up that he was going to be happy — but 
now ho is and is going to be happier. . . . He has great 
work to do and wonders if he will be able to do it. 
He says, 'I have many instructors and teachers with 
me. ... I have met many who tell me that, a little 



310 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE W 

later, they will explain why they are helping me. 
I feel I have got two fathers now. I have not lost one 
and got another. I have got both. I have got my old 
one and a pro tern father.' " 

The moat direct allusion, however, to the "Faunas 
message came at the close after Raymond had gone 
and before Mrs. Leonard came out of trance 

(The little guide speaks of herself in the third pe 
son.) 

"He is gone but Feda sees something which is on 
symbolic ; she sees a cross falling back on to you ; ve: 
dark, falling on to you; dark and heavy-looking; and 
as it falls it gets twisted round and the other side seems 
all light, and the light is shining all over you. Yes, 
that is what Feda sees. The cross looked dark, and 
then it suddenly twisted round and became a beautiful 
light. The cross is a meaning of shedding real light 
It is going to help a great deal." 

On the afternoon of the same day Lady Lodge 
her first sitting, as a complete stranger, with If: 
A. Vaut Peters, who had been invited for the purpoi 
- — without any name being given — to Mrs. Kennedy 
house at 3.30 p.m. 

Here again, Raymond was described early in 
sitting and several identifying messages given. "Mooi 
stone," Peter's chief control, voiced the message 
follows : — 

"Was he not associated with chemistry? If not 
some one associated with him was, because I see all 
the thingB in a chemical laboratory. That chemistry 
takes me away from him to a man in the flesh (O. J, 
presumably) ; and connected with him, a man, a wril 
of poetry, on our side, closely connected with Spirit] 
ism. He was very clever — he, too, passed away 



- 



a" 
ne 

; 

nd 



s try 
out 



COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 311 

of England. (This was clearly meant for Myers who 
died in Rome.) He has communicated several times. 
I see the letter M he is helping your son to com- 

»raunicate. (His presence and help were also independ- 
ently mentioned by Mrs. Leonard.) He is built-up in 
till chemical conditions. If your eon did not know 
this man, he knew of him. (Yes, he could hardly have 
known him, as he was only about twelve at the time of 
Myers' death.) At the back of the gentleman, begin- 
ning with M. and who wrote poetry, is a whole group 
of people. (The Society of Psychical Research group, 
doubtless.) They are very interested. And don't be 
surprised if you get messages from them, even if you 
don't know them." 

Then Moonstone stopped and said: "This is so im- 
portant, what is going to be said now, that I want to 
go slowly, for you to write clearly every word" (in- 
dicating carefully) : — 

"Not only is the partition so thin that yon can hear 
the operators on the other side, but a big hole has been 
made." 

Thus the former and oft-repeated spirit message 
from the same source reappears, amended and 
strengthened in a new version. 



The Group Photograph 



Nest comes what Sir Oliver regards as "a peculiarly 
good piece of evidence" arising out of sittings in the 
fall of 1915 in which occurs the mention and descrip- 
tion of a group photograph taken near the Front, of 
the existence of which the Lodge family were in com- 
plete ignorance, but which was afterwards verified in 
f satisfactory and complete manner. 



312 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE "WAR 

Raymond was killed September 14th, 1915. The first 
reference to a photograph of him taken with other men 
was made by "Moonstone," the control of Peters, in. a 
sitting with Peters by Lady Lodge, Sept. 27th, 1915. 

It will be recalled that thia sitting was arranged 
with Peters by Mrs. Kennedy at her house for a lady 
unknown. The following is an extract from records 
of the sitting: — 

"You have several good portraits of thia boy. Be- 
fore he went away you had got a good portrait of him 
— two — no, three. Two where he is alone and one 
where he is in a group of other men. He is particular 
that I should tell you of this. In one you see hie wi 
ing stick." 

Lady Lodge thought this statement of a group phot* 
an error, or a gueaa, and paid little attention thereto. 
Dr. Lodge, however, waa impreaaed in some degree by 
the statement: "he is particular that I should tell you 
of this," and made an enquiry or two but nothingmore 
was heard of it for two months. On Monday, Novem- 
ber 29th, however, a letter came from Mrs. Cheves, a 
stranger, mother of Captain Cheves, who had known 
Raymond and had reported the nature of his wount 
Mrs. Cheves' letter ran as follows: — 



one 
ular 
alk- 

loto 



Dear Lady Lodge : My son who is M. 0. to the J 
South Lanes, has sent us a group of officers, taken i 
August, and I wondered whether you knew of th 
photo, and bad a copy. If not, may I send you one, 
as we have half a dozen and alao a key? I hope yoi 
will forgive my writing to ask this, but I have of t i-t 
thought of you, and felt so much for you in your grea 
sorrow. Sincerely yours, 

B. P. Chevkh. 









COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 313 

Lady Lodge wrote thanking her and requesting the 
photo, but it did not come to hand. 

Before it came to hand, Sir Oliver had had a sitting 
with Mrs. Leonard at her house on December 3rd, and 
on this occasion he asked carefully concerning the pho- 
tograph, wishing to get as much detail as possible be- 
fore the group picture should come to hand. He in- 
troduced the topio and asked questions and got answers 
as reported below. 

(Feda, Mrs. L.'s child control, is supposed to be 
speaking and often speaks of herself in the third per- 
son) : 

Feda: "Now ask him some more." 

0. J. L.: "Well, he said something about having a 
photograph taken with some other men. We haven't 
seen_that photograph yet. Docb he want to say any- 
thing more about it T He spoke about a photograph." 

Feda: "Yes, but he thinks it wasn't here. He looks 
at Feda and he says, 'It wasn't to yon, Feda.' " 

O. J. L.: "No; he ib quite right. It wasn't. Can 
he say where he spoke of it!" 

Feda: "He says it wasn't through the table." 

0. J. L. : "No, it wasn't." 

Feda: "It wasn't here at all. He did not know the 
person he said it through. The conditions were strange 
(here — a strange house." (Quite true, it was said 
through Peters in Mrs. Kennedy's house during an 
anonymous sitting, on the 27th of September.) 

O. J. L.: "Do you recollect the photograph at all?" 

Feda: "He thinks there were several others taken 
with him, not one or two but several." 

O. J. L.: "Were they friends of yours?" 

Feda: "Some of them, he says, ne did not know 



314 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE W. 

them all, not very well. But be knew some ; he bean 
of some; they were not all friends." 

O. J. L. : "Does he remember how he looked in the 
photo I" 

Feda: "No, be does not remember how he looked." 

0. J. L.: "No, no, I mean was he standing up!" 

Feda : "No, he doesn't seem to think so. Some were 
raised up round ; be was sitting down, and some were 
raised up back of him. Some were standing, and some 
were sitting, be thinks." 

O. J. L. : "Were they soldiers!" 

Feda: "He says yes — a mixed lot. Somebody called 
C. was on it with him; and somebody called R. — not 
bis own name, but another R. K. K. K. — he says some- 
thing about K. He also mentions a name beginning 
with B. . . . put down B." 

0. J. L. : "I am asking about the photograph be- 
cause we haven't seen it yet. Somebody is going to 
send it to us. We have heard that it exists, and that's 
all." 

Feda: "He has the impression of about a dozen oi 
it. A dozen, he says, if not more. Feda thinks it musi 
be a big photograph. No — he does not think so. Hi 
says they were grouped close together." 

0. J. L. : "Did he have a stick!" 

Feda: "He doesn't remember that. He remembei 
that somebody wanted to lean on him, but be is not Si 
sure if he was taken with some one leaning on hi 
But somebody wanted to lean on him, he remember! 
The last what he gave you, what were a B., will 
rather prominent in that photograph. It wasn't taki 
in a photographer's place." 

0. J. L. : "Was it out of dooraf" 

Feda: "Yes, practically" (Then sotto voce). "Wha: 



iard 



: 



COMMUNICATIONS FKOM SOLDIERS 315 

yon mean 'Yes, practically'; must have been out of 
doors or not out of doors. You mean 'Yes,' don't 
yonT" 

Feda thinks he means "Yes," because he says "prac- 
tically." 

O. J. L. : "It may have been a shelter." 
Feda: "It might have been." "Try- to show Feda." 
At the back he shows me lines going down. It looks 
like a black background, with lines at the back of 
them. 

(Feda here kept drawing vertical lines in the air.) 

The photo arrived on the afternoon of Dec. 7th. 
Meanwhile, December 6th, Lady Lodge had been look- 
ing up Raymond 's diary, now returned from the front 
with the kit, and found the entry : 24th August. Photo 
taken. 

He had had one home leave — 16th July to 20th July. 
As the photo was not yet taken he could not have im- 
parted any information regarding it on his home com- 
ing, and he bad not mentioned it in correspondence. 

On the morning of December 7th, and before the 
photo arrived, Sir Oliver wrote out in detail a descrip- 
tion of the photo, from statements made by Raymond 
in the various sittings, which in many striking details 
was verified from the photo itself. 

The photo was a 12x9 inch from a 5x7 original, the 
number of officers in the photo being twenty-one. Five 
are in the front row squatting on the grass, Raymond 
being one, the second from the right. Seven in the 
second row are seated on chairs. Nine are in the back 
row standing up against the outside of a temporary 
wooden structure, such as might be a hospital shed, or 
something of that kind. 



316 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AM) THE \VA 

"On examining the photo," Bays Sir Oliver, 
found that every peculiarity mentioned by Raymond, 
unaided by the medium, was strikingly correct. The 
walking stick is there. There are sis conspicuous verti- 
cal lines on the roof of the shed, but the horizontal linos 
in the background generally are equally conspicuous. 
The men are a 'mixed lot,' inasmuch as they repre- 
sent different companies as there are too many officers 
for one company. Captain S. T. Boast — the B. 
ferred to — is the most conspicuous figure in the grou; 
Officers whose names begin with B-, C. and R. are in tin 
group. Some are sitting and some are standing 
Raymond's description required. 

"The background is dark and is conspicuously lined. 
It is out of doors and close in front of a shed or mili- 
tary hut. By far the most striking piece of evidence 
is the fact that some one behind Raymond is leaning 
or resting a hand on his shoulder. The photograph 
shows this actual occurrence and indicates that Ray- 
mond is somewhat annoyed by it. It is the only case 
in the photograph where one man is leaning or resting 
his band on the shoulder of another." 

In his concluding comment on the photo episode, Sir 
Oliver observes that the case furnishes something of 
the nature of "cross-correspondence," inasmuch as 
reference to the photo was given in answer to a qui 
tion through another medium. The elimination of 
athy from the living, except under the far-fetch 
hypothesis of the unconscious influence of corapli 
strangers, was therefore exceptionally complete. 1 
Oliver is confident that Raymond expected this 
a particularly good piece of evidence I 
ment of MoonBtone: "He is particular thai I 
tell you this." He contends that the amount of 



up. 
the 
as 



COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 317 

incidence and agreement in detail between the descrip- 
tion of the photo by Raymond through the different 
mediums and the actual photo itself, as it came to hand 
later, "is quite beyond chance or guess work." In 
short, it proves in bis view actual communication from 
his departed son. As this case seems destined to be- 
come historic, the reader will, doubtless, be glad to 
have the following summary of events and dates : — - 






Calendar 

July 20th, 1915 — Raymond's last visit home. 

August 24th, 1915— Photo taken at the Front, as 
shown in Raymond's private diary, but not mentioned 
by him. 

September 14th, 1915 — Raymond's death. 

September 27th, 1915 — Peters' (Moonstone's) men- 
tion of the photograph as a message from Raymond. 

October 15th, 1915 — Negative sent with other nega- 
tives by Captain Sydney T. Boast, from the Front in 
Flanders, to Messrs. Gale and Polden, Aldershot, for 
printing. 

November 29th, 1915 — Mrs. Cheves wrote spontane- 
ously saying that she had a group photograph of some 
2nd South Lancashire officers which she could send if 
desired. 

December 3rd, 1915 — Feda's {Mrs. Leonard's) fur- 
ther description of a photograph which had been men- 
tioned through another medium, in answer to a direct 
question addressed to Raymond. 

December 6th, 1915 — Lady Lodge found an entry 
in Raymond's diary, showing that a photograph had 

«n taken on August 24th. 

December 7th, 1915 — Morning — To make sure, Sir 



318 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

Oliver wrote to J. A. Hill Ms impression of the phoi 
graph before it came. 

December 7th, 1915 — Afternoon — Arrival of the 
photograph. 

December 7th, 1915 — Evening — The photograph was 
shown to the home members of the family and examined 
by Sir Oliver and found to accord in a remarkal 
manner with the messages from Raymond. 



The Return of Private Thomas Dowding 



I will conclude this Chapter with a brief resume 
the book on the return of Private Thomas Dowding, 
which contains many incidents of extreme interest, and, 
unlike most books automatically written, it is modest, 
straightforward and carrieB with it a certain sincerity 
which compels belief. The facts in the case are briefly 
these : — 

Private Dowding was a schoolmaster in a small E 
Coast town before the war. He was an orphan, soi 
what of a recluse, and made friends but slowly. He 
became a soldier in the autumn of 1915, and left his 
narrow village life behind him. He joined as a pri- 
vate and died as a private. His soldiering lasted 
months, eight of which were spent in training in Norl 
umberland. He went out with his battalion to France 
in July, 1916, and went into the trenches almost at 
once. He was killed by a shell splinter one evening in 
August, and his body was buried on the following daj 

That is the brief graphic sketch he gives of himsei 
in a communication he wrote seven months later by 
hand of Mr. Tudor Pole, who sets down (ke eiit 
stances thus : — 

"On Monday, 12th March, 1917, I was walking 



: 

of 



neny 

East 
ome- 
He 
t his 
> pri- 
Inine 
lorth- 






COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 319 

the sea when I felt the presence of some one. I looked 
round; no one was in sight. All that day I felt as if 
some one were following me, trying to reach my 
thoughts. Suddenly I said to myself, 'It is a soldier. 
He has been killed in battle, and wants to communi- 
cate I' That evening I happened to call upon a lady 
who possesses some degree of clairvoyant power. I 
had forgotten about the soldier until she described a 
man dressed in khaki, sitting in a chair near me. He 
was gazing intently in my direction. She said he was 
mature, wore a small moustache, and seemed some- 
what sad. Not a very intelligent character appar- 
ently, but an honest one. I came home and sat down 
at my writing-table. Immediately my pen moved. Did 
I move it! Yes, in an involuntary way. The thoughts 
were not my own; the language was a little unusuaL 
Ideas were conveyed in short, simple phrases. It would 
really seem as if some intelligence outside myself were 
speaking through my mind and my pen. Some of the 
ideas were not in conformity with preconceived notions 
of my own. The messages I received in this manner 
from 'Thomas Dowding,' recluse, schoolmaster, sol- 
dier, are set down exactly as they reached me. " 

These were all written between March 12th and 
18th, excepting a short fina! note received at Rothes 
Library on the following Good Friday. They form a 
document of the deepest interest, and picture the Pri- 
vate's going-out from the strife and slaughter of the 
battlefield to his new life in the spirit. They make 
vivid what must be common experience of many sol- 
diers during every day of this war. They are slain, 
buried, and what thent Are they only a memory of a 
life that is past and done with! Here is what Private 



320 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

Dowding has to say on the first occasion he guided 
pen in Mr. Tudor-Poole 's hand: — 

". . . As you see (he observes) I hasten o 
these important events, important to me once, but now 
of no real consequence. How we overestimate the sig- 
nificance of earthly happiness! I was afraid of being 
killed, and was sure it would mean extinction. Thei 
are still many who believe that. It is because extini 
tion has not come to me that I want to speak to you. 

"Physical death is nothing. There really is no caui 
for fear. Some of my pals grieved for me. When 
'went West' they thought I was dead for good. Thin 
is what happened. I had a perfectly clear memory of 
the whole incident. I was waiting at the corner of a 
traverse to go on guard. It was a fine evening. I had 
no Bpecial intimation of danger, until I heard the whizz 
of a shell. Then followed an explosion somewhere be- 
hind me. I crouched down involuntarily, but was too 
late. Something stuck, hard, hard, hard, against my 
neck. Shall I ever lose the memory of that hardness? 
It is the only unpleasant incident that I can remember. 
I fell, and as I did so, without passing through any ap- 
parent interval of unconsciousness, I found myself out- 
side myself! Yon see I am telling my story simply 
you will find it easier to understand. You will know 
what a small incident this dying is. Think of it I Oi 
moment I was alive, in the earthly sense, looking ovi 
a trench parapet, unalarmed, normal. Five seconds* 
later I was standing outside my body, helping two of 
my pals carry my body down the trench labyrinth to- 
wards a dressing station. ... I seemed in a dream, I 
had dreamt that some one or something had knocked 
me down. Now I was dreaming that I was outsidt 



ig- 

.se 
lib 



n. 
er 






COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 321 

my body. Soon I thought I shall wake up and find 
myself in the traverse, waiting to go on guard. . . ." 

Private Dowding, it will be observed, found death it- 
self the reverse of alarming. "As in my case," (he 
observes) "thousands of soldiers pass over without 
knowing it. If there be shock, it is not the shock of the 
physical death. Shock comes later, when comprehen- 
sion dawns. Where is my bodyT Surely I am not 
dead I" Dowding then followed his body as it was 
taken to a mortuary and stood near it all night, watch- 
ing, as he expresses it, but without thoughts. Finally 
he lost consciousness and slept soundly. When he 
awoke his body had disappeared. He hunted for it 
in vain; it had been buried or burned. But he found 
himself in a body of some sort; he can tell very little 
about it excepting tbat it is convenient, does not ache 
or tire, and seems similar in formation to his old body. 
He seemed to float above the battlefield in a mist that 
muffled sound and blurred vision. It was like looking 
down from above the clouds. Later, he says: — "A 
new sensation came to me. It was as if I stood on a 
pinnacle, all that was essential of me. The rest re- 
ceded, receded. . . . All appertaining to bodily life 
seemed to be dropping away down into a bottomless 
abyss. There was no feeling of irretrievable loss. My 
being seemed both minute and expansive at the same 
time. All that was not really me slipped down and 
away." 

It was at this point that he first realized that he had 
been killed by a German shell. His description of his 
impression of the difference between his present body 
and that which he possessed when in the physical state 
is curious, though a little bewildering. 

"When I lived in the physical body I never thought 



322 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAH 

much about it. I knew very little about physiology. 
Now that I am living under other conditions I remain 
incurious as to that through which I express myself. 
By this I mean that I am still evidently in a body of 
some sort, but I can tell you very little about it. It 
has no interest for me. It is convenient. It does not 
ache or tire. It seems similar in formation to my old 
body. There is a subtle difference, but I cannot at- 
tempt analysis." 

Describing bis state of consciousness under these 
new conditions, he observes: "When I first woke 
this second time, I felt cramped. This is passing, 
and a sense of real freedom comes; I am sim- 
ply myself, alive, in a region where food and drink 
seem unnecessary. Otherwise life is strangely similar 
to earth life." Private Dowding suffered at first from 
a sense of loneliness and solitude, but after a time met 
his brother, who had passed over three years earlier, 
and came down to welcome him. The brother took him 
to one of the rest-halls "specially prepared for newly 
arrived pilgrims." "Confusion" (he says), "at once 
dropped away from me. Never shall I forget my hap- 
piness. I sat in the alcove of a splendid domed hall. 
The splashing of a fountain reached my tired being 
and soothed me. The fountain played music, colour, 
harmony, bliss. All discordances vanished, and I was 
at peace. . . ." 

In the next communication Private Dowding states 
that he is beginning to meet people and to exchange 
ideas, and expresses surprise that the only person he 
came across for a long time was his brother. The ex- 
planation given to him of this fact was that he was 
never in reality alone, but that owing to the isolated 
character of his life on earth he had shut himself up 






COMMUNICATIONS FROM SOLDIERS 323 

in his own Bhell and was therefore unable to realize 
the presence of those who were around him. The 
moral lie drawB from his experience on the other side 
is that it is dangerous to live too much to oneself, and 
that the life of a recluse is unwise except for the very 
few who have work which requires complete silence and 
isolation. In this sense Private Dowding realizes that 
the war was his salvation through dragging him out 
into real life and association with his fellow-men. 
"Each of us" (he says), "oreates his own purgatorial 
conditions." "If I had my time over again, how dif- 
ferently I should live my life. ... I neither lived 
enough among my fellow-men nor interested myself 
sufficiently in their affairs." How many so-called 
Christians there are who, like Private Dowding, refuse 
obstinately to learn one of the most important lessons 
taught by the life of Him who was so often described 
as "the friend of publicans and sinners!" 

A fresh shock was shortly in store for our friend. 
On returning to the rest-hall on one occasion he met a 
messenger from a higher sphere from whom he re- 
ceived a very decided cold watei douche. "Do you 
know" (he asked) "that most of what you have con- 
veyed to your friend at the matter end of the line is 
quite illusory!" The Messenger suggested that Dowd- 
ing had better do a little living first in the new sphere 
which he had reached, before talking about it to his 
friends on this side of the barrier. Afterwards, how- 
ever, having talked the matter over with his brother, he 
relaxed somewhat, only stipulating that he should not 
convey to bis friends here the impression that his ex- 
periences were more real than they actually were. Our 
friend was ready to grant, looking back on hiB life 
from the other Bide, that bis experiences here had been 



324 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE W 



in the main in the nature of Maya or illusion — * 
long chain of illusory episodes," as he expresses it, 
"with my poor little self in the centre." But he did 
not like to think that his impressions about his present 
life were mere illusions also. "How much," says Mr. 
Ralph Shirley, "of what we learn of that part of the 
other world which impinges on our own is of dream- 
like character! How many of the episodes narrated, 
for example, in Letters from a Living Dead Man, 
partake of this unreal character, — the people Judge 
Hatch met frequently living in what was obviously an 
entirely illusory world of their own, created by their 
imagination ; as, for instance, the good lady who fan- 
cied that she was living at some fresh boarding house, 
even more undesirable than its predecessors! Still, 
the experiences, even in our dream states, illusory as 
we justly term most of them, are at least experiences, 
and it seems to me that the illusory character of oi 
life on earth does not greatly detract from its impor- 
tance in so far as our own growth and development 
concerned." 

What will perhaps attract most attention at the pi 
ent time in connection with the communications of P 
vate Dowding are the remarks which he records 
having been made to him in a later interview by th> 
Messenger above mentioned with regard to the causi 
and real character of the war as looked at from a high- 
er and more spiritual plane. These certainly give food 
for thought, and throw a different light on the posi- 
tion to that with which we are familiar through 01 
reading of the papers and the literature of today. "I 
am told" (he says), "that lust for wealth of one ma- 
terial kiud or another was the real cause of the 
Nevertheless, as the result of the war, all the natioi 



= 






COMMUNICATIONS FKOM SOLDIERS 325 

engaged will be far poorer than they were before." 
More interesting still is another point which has prob- 
ably not occurred lo many. The war, says Dowding, is, 
he learns, being turned into a celestial instrument. It 
is, in short, an object lesson, to prove the impotence 
of material force. It is the faith in this which for 
many years past has been leading the nations, not Ger- 
many only, more and more astray from the path of 
truth, and has been plunging the whole world deeper 
and deeper into the quagmire of illusion. The moral 
of the whole cataclysm is the worthlessness of Prince 
Bismarck's gospel of "blood and iron." 

"Material forces" {says our friend from the other 
side) "are becoming exhausted; that is to say, the 
more they are used, the less they achieve." Strange 
thoughtl People will realize that material force Iflftda 
nowhere, is indeed an illusion. . . . Apparently the im- 
potent clash of material forces is creating a kind of 
vacuum. Into this vacuum spiritual power is to be 
poured and poured. He has seen with his own eyes 
the reservoirs. The Water of Life fills them. High 
beings, God's messengers, guard the sluice gates. 
They await the word of command. Then will the Wa- 
ter of Life be released. 

All this Dowding confesses is rather beyond him. 
As he observes, "I never used my opportunities during 
earth life. My spiritual nnture atrophied." 

A great deal is said about reflection; how we MS 
clear our own poor thoughts and illusions and allow 
the Christ-power to reflect through us. Evidently the 
power is wonderful. The Messenger seemed to love 
to speak of it; yet he was in awe of it. It clears away 
illusions as the son clears away fog. He said: "I 
am still living in a fog, a fog of my own ereation and 



lot 



326 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE W. 

design. "Well! Well! Once I thought I knew a 
Then I was sure I knew a little. Now I know I know- 
nothing." 

The Private was thereafter taken by his brother to 
a Hall of Silence. 

"Strength and consolation came to me within its 
walls. All that the Messenger had said to me came 
back to me. Understanding of many truths dawned 
within me. One great truth has become my constant 
companion. I sum it up thus: 'Empty yourself if 
you would be filled.' The Waters of Life can never 
flow through me until I have surrendered my whole 
self. I begin to see the wisdom of this. . . . Some- 
where within the soul there is silence. Attain unto it. 
It is a 'pearl of great price.' " 

Then he accompanied the Messenger to the Mount of 
Vision, where he was told that a spiritual revival was 
destined to take place within all the great world-faithi 
when unity will be established, and universal peace 
come an accomplished fact. . . . 

[Note. Since tbis book went to press, several important a 
have appeared, by well-known authors.— giving additional facts 8 
eases of value. Among these, I m'y-ht mention Mr. Mai Pemtx 
ton's article in The Weekly Despatch (London) ; that by Dr. Hor« 
Leaf, in The Two Worlds (Manchester); several articles by Sir 
Arthur Conan Doyle, in The Metropolitan Magazine (New York), — 
and others. All these take the same genera! stand regarding the 
phenomena that I have taken in this book, — and supply additioi 
material, supporting these conclusions.] 



- 



CHAPTER XII 

THE SPIRITUAL BEVIVAL AWAKENED BY THE WAB 

"I wish I were a poet, so that I could write, before set- 
ting out, a masterpiece dedicated to the Germans, 
thanking them for having brought back the age of the 
martyrs. I always used to picture to myself the atroci- 
ties of war, and now I see it as providing commonplace 
men like myself with the occasion, not so much of per- 
forming brilliant actions, as in dying in creating some- 
thing, of which I am certain, although I see it incom- 
pletely. To fall under some pine-tree in the Vosges, to 
die without any knowing of it, appears to me as an act 
of life which cannot be in vain. Perhaps they will kill 
us all. They will murder France. Yet I cannot help 
but believe that we are already victorious. They say 
that thoBe condemned to death, at the moment of their 
execution, see as though fore-shortened all their lives 
passing before their eyes. Last night I was rather like 
them. I saw the whole of my life at home: the old 
house, its nooks and corners, its furniture, the folks 
and the beasts, and the village, too, with itB cries, its 
smells, and the old pastor, who was such a frightful 
bore, yet such an original one. I saw myself standing 
before him at my catechism, one day when he had told 
us to learn about the Devil, and the energy with which 
he makes war upon God, and I saw the ray of beanty 
which transfigured him when he replied, to some 
urchin's questions: 'God cannot be vanquished and 



328 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE W. 



the Devil is His servant.' I did not understand then, 
what he meant, and I do not understand yet, but the 
words have stayed with me, and involuntarily I apply 
them to the present situation." * 

So wrote M. Sabatler, in his very interesting study of 
the religious revival which has swept through France, 
— and in fact all the belligerents, as one of the results of 
this great war. Religion is always a difficult thing to 
touch upon or write about, since no two people agree. 
There is this factor about religion, however, with which 
most people would probably be found to agree, and 
it is that, in times of stress and anguish, one feels 
keenly the sense of one's loneliness and helplessness, 
and the innate desire to seek help and comfort from 
some higher source; and further, that this source is 
capable at times of helping the supplicant who thus 
petitions. What the nature of this inner help may 
we do not pretend to say, but — if human testimoi 
goes for anything — it certainly has been given in man; 
thousands of cases. Religion is not orthodoxy. It 
something quite different from that, we all admit . 
Religion comprises, if I am not mistaken, three seru 
of facts: firstly, the intuition of a personal and soci; 
ideal above the present reality ; secondly, a movemei 
of our whole being, physical as well aB moral, towar. 
that ideal, when we feel that we are made for it, 
also feel, despite all obstacles, that we are capable 
attaining it: the act of faith which, plainly pereeta 
the difficulties, leaves to reason the task of stud; 
them, and regards itself as certain of victory ; if it mi 
be, after many defeats, and even through every & 
fice 

Is this definition exact T If it is, religion is the 

• Paul Saba tier: A Frenchman's Thoughts on the War, pp. 31- 



™ 



(SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AWAKENED 329 
trary of retrogression : the religions act par excellence, 
far from being the act by which bewildered man, losing 
his bearings, abandons the rudder of his life, is, on the 
contrary, the human act par excellence; it is, in the 
first place, the intuition by whose means man becomes 
conscious at once of his empire over the visible world 
nd his subordination to an ideal world which we can- 
not see, yet which we perceive so surely that we pro- 
claim it eternal; secondly, jt is the act by which man, 
i the fullness of his life and strength, adheres to this 
deal and finds in his adhesion the secret of individual 
nd social life. Religion is therefore anticipation; it 
} activity at its fullest; it is conscious progress; it is 
liberty, love, creation. . . . And now if we return to 
the question we were considering a while ago: will 
this war result in a religious revival f — we must reply 
that the very basis of this war is in a sense religious 
or spiritual; it is characterized by the fact that it is, 
more than any war has hitherto been, an international 
conflict, an effort to defend not material wealth, but 
the ideal tendencies of civilization, against materialism 
erected into a systematic doctrine. . . . 

"We need not watch for the religious revival, for it 
ias taken place, and those were blind indeed who did 
not see it. It is true that the Churches, which are to 
■eligiou what the schools are to knowledge, are asking: 
"But who — which Church — will profit by the revival T" 
Just as an advance in knowledge profits all the schools, 
and shines before all the world, so it will be with the 
present religious revival: it will profit all the Churches, 
even all the anti-churches. In drawing nearer to that 
deal towards which, by divers paths, we seek to climb, 
ire draw nearer to one another. The religious revival 



330 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

will profit moat those who serve it, not thoBe who ma 
use of it. 

This religious character of the war against Ger- 
many has been felt by all the belligerents ; but the Brit- 
ish have perceived it in all its plenitude. And I need 
only recall an engraving published in one of our 
periodicals, which symbolized the soul of this war by 
two persons. On one side of this picture was the King 
of the Belgians, dreaming alone in a ruined house, in 
the midst of a landscape which revealed, in all direc- 
tions, nothing but devastated villages, and Wilhelm II. 
suddenly rose before him, and in a tone which, he 
sought to render amiable, asked him: "Then you have 
lost everything!" — "Yes, I have lost everything," the 
Kin g replied, "but I have saved my soul!" 

The deeper spiritual issues of the war are inde< 
but imperfectly apprehended by us, and even ' 
churches," as Mr. John Jay Chapman bo well ! 
"do not seem to be aware that these matters can i 
be expressed in terms of social betterment." 
piety he likens to the activity of Martha, since i 
' ' preoccupied with the welfare of the troops, the ea 
of the wounded, the succour given to depopnlated j 
inces." But there ib a "new war-music," he tells 1 
which even our churches, "tuned to the old materi 
ism," have not heard the accents of. He feels a dan 
to be lurking "lest the churches, by clinging to 
phrases and formulas of the nineteenth century, 
the key to the future. ' * He foresees the possibility t 
the greater age now opening "will be accompanied 1 
a destruction of much that the nineteenth century i 
garded as the foundation of society," and unless ' 
ligion discards the language of materialism, 
churches may be left in darkness and despair i 



SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AWAKENED 331 

while the great spiritual light of the world is burning 
for them." Mr. Chapman is the father of the brilliant 
aviator, Victor Chapman, who was the first American 
in the flying corps to give his life for Prance. And 
when he speaks in The Churchman (New York) of the 
personal relation each one of us must now bear to the 
conflict he speaks as one whose initiation in such 
thoughts and emotions came almost a full year before 
that of most of his fellow countrymen : 

*' When the war began many of us thought of it as 
a distant and transient thing. We adjusted our lives to 
it as to an emergency. As time wore on, however, the 
persistent influence of the dark on-moving cloud began 
to penetrate and to obsess every mind. And now each 

^of us has come to feel that he has an inner relation to 
the tragedy which overshadows and swallows up his 
external relations to it. We are overcome by a feeling 
of awe and of helplessness, which, could we but know 
it, is the very elixir and antidote that nature distils in 
us — the cure for the plague, the road to salvation. 

"In ordinary times men's spiritual knowledge gen- 
erally comes to them through sickness or through grief. 
These things shut out the buzz and clamour of passing 
events, and open people's ears to the silent forces 
which really control their being. Now this great sick- 
ness of the war converts thousands daily, and one can 
hardly find a man who does not show signs of illumina- 
tion. The young men, as of old, shine as the natural 
heroes of the race. Their readiness to die restores our 
faith in human nature. It reminds us that the sacri- 
ficial part is what counts in the spread of truth. This 
much we know, and we know little elBe, about morality 
and religion. To count the cost and dwell upon the life 
and property sacrificed in heroic action is to doubt the 



332 PSYCniCAL PHENOMENA AND THE W 



value of troth. To what better use could these young 
heroes and all this amassed wealth have been put? It 
was for this that they existed. As for the pain in- 
volved in their engulfing, as for the agony of the expe- 
rience, this is a part of the regeneration. People seem 
to desire the power of Christ, and the benevolence of 
Christ, without the Passion. The thing can not be 
done ; and nothing but an age of materialism could have 
so softened the fibre of moralists as to lead men to 
think it possible. There is a species of tenderness to- 
ward human suffering whieh, if exhibited in the midst 
of a heroic crisis, turns into a morbid element. The 
best of men sometimes preach about the horrors of 
war as if they thought we suspected them of delighting 
in war. Having bathed all the mothers of the draft 
men in tears, they think to lift the question to a hij 
plane by talking of the need to win the war. But it 
too late. They have muddled the issue by commisei 
tion, and no amount of reasoning will restore the ti 
per of instinctive heroism to their words. Once di 
upon horror and indulge in analysis — as Macbeth di 
and you confuse the conscience. Pathos is the em 
of courage. As for winning the war, the war is alrei 
won for those who died in it, and we do not need 
wait for a Congress of Vienna to appraise the vi 
of their service." 

All the preliminary obeisances to peace which 
patriots put into their war-discourses are, indeed, d 
in the name of Christianity and on the theory 
Christ valued peace above all things. "We are cor: 
ed in this view, so as to take the stand that "the spi 
nal peace to which Christ refers, however, is a state 
mind, not of politics." Christian pacifism is an 
to define the indefinable. 






SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AWAKENED 333 

"Under what circumstances may I use force to pro- 
tect the oppressed or to prevent some profanation! 
God knows ; but there are times when I must. If this be 
not Christian doctrine, then Christianity, or its inter- 
preters, are in favour of suppressing a divine impulse. 
And the suppressing of this impulse leads to a senti- 
mental attitude toward the value of life and property 
which is at odds with Christ's whole conduct. I can 
not see that he valued his own life or that of others ex- 
cept as a means of spreading the truth which he taught 
For this reason he heals the sick, for this reason he 
advises men to lose their lives that they may Bave them. 
For this reason his example has always made men dis- 
regard death. Death is a trifle. . . ." 

Or, as Maeterlinck has so well expressed it: " 

"Nowadays, everything is changed; and death itself 
is no longer what it was. Formerly, you looked it in 
the face, you knew whence it came and who sent it to 
you. It had a dreadful aspect, but one that remained 
human. Its ways were not unknown: its long spells 
of sli.'p, its brief awakenings, its bad days and dan- 
gerous hours. At present, to all these horrors it adds 
the great, intolerable fear of mystery. It no longer 
has any aspect, no longer has habits or spells of sleep 
and it is never still. It is always ready, always on 
the watch, everywhere present, scattered, intangible, 
and dense, stealthy and cowardly, diffuse, all-encom- 
passing, innumerous, looming at every point of the 
horizon, rising from the waters and falling from the 
sky, indefatigable, inevitable, filling the whole of space 
and time for days, weeks and months without a min- 
ute's lull, without a second's intermission. Men live, 
move and sleep in the meshes of its fatal web. They 

* The Light Beyond, pp. 217-218. 




334 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 



know that the least step to the right or left, a head 
bowed or lifted, a body bent or upright, is seen by its 
eyes and draws its thunder. 

"Hitherto we had no example of this preponderance 
of the destructive forces. We should never have be- 
lieved that man's nerves could resist so great a trial. 
The nerves of the bravest man are tempered to face 
death for the space of a second, but not to live in the 
hourly expectation of death and nothing else. Hero- 
ism was once a sharp and rugged peak, reached for a 
moment but quitted forthwith, for mountain-peaks are 
not inhabitable. Today it is a boundless plain, as i 
inhabitable as the peaks; but we are not permitted to 
descend from it. And so, at the very moment when mai 
appeared most exhausted and enervated by the con: 
forts and vices of civilization, at the moment when he 
was happiest and therefore most selfish, when, possea 
ing the minimum of faith and vainly seeking a new 
ideal, he seemed less capable of sacrificing himself for 
an idea of any kind, he finds himself suddenly confront- 
ed with an unprecedented danger, which is almost cer- 
tain that the most heroic nations of history would no! 
have faced nor even dreamed of facing, whereas ] 
doeB not even dream that it is possible to do aught bu' 
face it." 

This thought — that death is nothing — an incident 
seems, perhaps naturally enough, to strike all men i 
the front at one time or another, possibly because deatl 
is all about them, and they have grown familiar witl 
his face. They know him for what he is — and they no 
longer fear him. As a Boldier wrote not long since t 
a friend of his, in response to a letter of sympathy a 
encouragement : — 

"Tell M.," he wrote, "that if death strikes the I 



SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AWAKENED 335 

it is not unjust. The less uobie who survive will be 
made better. Let her accept the sacrifice, and know 
that it is not made in vain. You do not know what a 
lesson the dead teach. I know it. In the spectacle of 
the soldier who falls there is a lesson of nobility and 
immortality which steels us, and by which wc ought to 
wish those dear to us to profit. I know because I have 
seen how the soldier whose leader has fallen is trans- 
figured with heroism. 

"Mothers have overwhelming agonies to Buffer in 
this war; but be of good cheer, nothing here is lost. 
What passes one's understanding — and yet, after all, 
it is natural enough — is that civilians are able to con- 
tinue their normal existence while we are in torment. 

"Let us always, and in every condition, have faith 
in God. Like you, I feel we can only worship Ilini in 
spirit. Like you, I feel we ought to avoid every kind of 
pride which offends the beliefs of others. One conso- 
lation lies above the super-humanly clear conviction 
that the divine and immortal energy which acts in one 
race, so far from being weakened, is exalted and ren- 
dered infinitely more potent by these turmoils. 

"Blessed is he who will hear the hymn of peace, but 
blessed already is he who divines it in the tumult. And 
what does it matter if this magnificent vision should be 
realized when the prophet has gone? He who has fore- 
known its coming has gleaned abundance of joy on 
earth. 

"If there be one thing absolute in the realm of hu- 
man sensation it is suffering. It is the instrument that 
clears the soul's path to the Absolute. 

' ' Human separations mean little ; that which is really 
ourselves is the ardour of the soul 

"Everything here combines to impart peace of heart 



336 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

— the beauty of the wood in which we are living, and 
the want of intellectual complications. It is paradoxi- 
cal, aa you say, and yet the best momenta of my inner 
life are now being passed. 

"One word only — we are in the hands of God! 
Never, never, did we so sorely need steadfastness and 
confidence. Death rages, but does not reign. Life i 
still noble. Truly, — 

"God's arras are around the undying dead 
Who serve Him. Torment seeks in vain 

To touch tlieni, though because they bled 
Fools take their passing for a pain." 

This fact — that death ennobles and glorifies, and t 
the whole human race seems to be spiritually lifted i 
by the sacrifices made — which will not have been made 
in vain — is clearly perceived by Maeterlinck, who, with 
the true poet's vision, when writing of the war, said:- 

"It waB so great a trial that we dared not, befo: 
this war, have contemplated it. The future of the I 
man race was at stake; and the magnificent respon 
that comes to us from every side reassures us fu 
as to the issue of other struggles, more formidabl 
still, which no doubt await us when it will be a que! 
tion no longer of fighting our fellow-men, but rather ( 
facing the more powerful and cruel of the great l 
terious enemies that nature holds in reserve aga 
us. If it be true, as I believe, that humanity is i 
just as much as the sum total of latent heroism whi 
it contains, then we may declare that humanity 1 
never stronger nor more exemplary than now, and t 
it is this moment reaching one of its highest pointB a 
capable of braving everything and hoping ever; 
And it is for this reason that, despite our present t 









SPIEITUAL REVIVAL AWAKENED 337 

ness, we are entitled to congratulate ourselves and re- 
joice."* 

The increasingly religions or spiritual feelings 
which are sweeping over the soldiers at the front have 
been testified to by many observers, and may even be 
found in numerous communications and "cases" which 
have been received from those in the trenches. Here, 
for example, is a statement made by a French soldier, 
who evidently believes that some divine providence 
has protected him from harm, and that his life has 
been miraculously saved on several occasions. He 
writes, concerning his own experiences: 

Here is the testimony afforded by a few "cases" 
which took place while I was at the front. When war 
broke out, I started on the second day of the mobiliza- 
tion to join up with the sixty-ninth light infantry regi- 
ment. I was full of trust, knowing that in the kingdom 
of God there was no war and that no evil could touch 
me. One day I was told off to patrol duty with three of 
my comrades. We were to reconnoitre a farm, and 
were going under cover of a corn field, when suddenly 
the enemy hidden in a ravine fired on ns. We were a 
few metres from them, and my companions thought 
they were done for, but I remained calm, having the 
ninety-first psalm always present in my thought. We 
lay flat in the corn, and while the balls spattered all 
around ns I declared the truth, and we came safely 
through this terrible experience. 

During the retreat we were sent into the department 
of the Oise to stop the German advance on Paris. 
When at L wo were ordered to hold on as long as 

" The Light Beyond, pp. 222-23. 



338 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

possible; and we defended the position all day long 
under terrible artillery fire. When we had to retire, 
it was too late, for we were surrounded on all sides. 
We were much afraid that the whole regiment would 
be captured, but God was watching over us, and by 
what seemed a miracle we succeeded in getting ont of 
the circle surrounding us. Then I heard Beveral of my 
comrades Bay, "It is incredible; there must be some 
one or something protecting our regiment." 

My best demonstration took place during the fa- 
mous battle of the Marne. We were at a place on the 

road to M and were ordered to go toward another 

place, which was then occupied by the enemy. Bat 
we had to go a distance of four kilometres in open 
country, exposed to the fire of the enemy's great how- 
itzers. We had to crawl all the way, on our stomachs. 
All of a sudden a shell fell and burst just where my 
squad was. Terrible cries were heard, and several of 
my comrades were wounded, while others were killed, 
and I was thrown to the other side of the road without 
a scratch, not knowing how it ever happened. 

The nest day we had to resist the enemy for twelve 
consecutive hours under the fire of artillery, for the 
order was that we should be killed rather than re- 
treat; no shelter was available, and what a massacn 
it was I With this passage of the ninety-first psalm 
always before my thought: "There shall no evil be- 
fall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwell- 
ing," I worked without ceasing. A piece of shell strucl 
me near the heart, but when it struck it had lost i 
its force and had no power to hurt me. 

Before closing, I will add a more recent exporienw 
which occurred at the time of the battle of the Son 
One of my comrades and I went to visit the cemetei 



" 






SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AWAKENED 339 

of the little village where we were staying, to see if 
among the unfortunate soldiers lying there, there was 
not one whom we knew. After a few moments I said 
to my friend: "This is not very cheerful; let us go 
away. I do not care to stay here any longer." We 
left the place, and we had not been gone five minutes, 
when a shell fell into the cemetery just where we had 
been standing, demolishing all the graves and making 
an enormous hole. Again I recognized God'B protec- 
tion. 

Victoe Blondis, Boulogne sur Seine, France. 

Here is another instance, published in an Australian 
paper : — 

The Warning Voice 

Captain Wm. McKenzie, one of the Salvation Army 
chaplains with the Australian Forces, who was re- 
cently decorated by the King with the Military Cross, 
attributes his many hairbreadth escapes to what he 
regards as a Divine Voice prompting him in moments 
of extreme danger. On one occasion, according to an 
English contemporary, he was burying single-handed 
the bodies of a number of men. While thus engaged, 
he found it necessary to go on to a ridge in full view 
of the enemy from two points, and they began sending 
over *'whizzbangs" and later big shells close to him. 

"I was burying the seventh body, when I heard a 
voice say, 'Get away from here quickly!' Not having 
quite finished, I worked like a fury, but had only man- 
aged three more spadefuls when again the voice said, 
'Run at once.' Then I made off, but had got away 
only some twenty-five yards when a big explosive shell 
landed directly on the spot where I had been standing. 



340 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND TnE WA 

... I could give at least six instances within a single 
week where prompt attention to this unseen voice saved 
me from big shells." 



Surprising natural phenomena are frequently at- 
tributed, by soldiers at the front, to supernatural 
causes, and omens seen in them of possible victory or 
defeat. Thus, on the Western front, numbers of sol- 
diers testified that they had Been a Cross in the sky, 
glowing and of gigantic size, just before the Battle of 
the Somme. On another occasion, a vision of Christ 
was supposedly seen in the clouds, accompanied by 
streamers of light. The following incident comes to us 
from the Russian front, as having occurred early in 
the war: — 

"When the Russian Armies were entrenched near 
Augustovo in the early autumn of 1914, shortly before 
midnight one night a sentry rushed into the officers' 
headquarters to summon his captain. 'I have seen 
something wonderful in the sky,' he said; 'it is a sign 
from heaven of victory, I feel sure. All the men are 
out there kneeling on the ground in prayer, — full of 
wonder at the miracle of the vision.' 

"The officer followed the man, and saw that it was 
indeed as he had said. At one point the sky was daz- 
zlingly illuminated, and outlined against its shining 
brightness, the figure of the Virgin, holding the Christ 
Child in her arms, could be seen. Lost in wonder, that 
great company of awestruck men gazed at the vision 
until by degrees it faded away, and there in its place, 
as though outlined in fire, was the sign of the Cross. 

"This vision proved the forerunner of one of the 
chief Russian victories in the early part of the war. Its 
fame has spread all over Russia. From the highest lo 



SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AWAKENED 341 

Jie lowest in the land all place firm credence in the 
wonderful vision of Augustovo, as it is called from the 
battle which took place near that spot the next fifty." 
The majority of the Russian BoldierB are, of course, 
ignorant and illiterate men, superstitious and alto- 
gether ignorant of the causes of such natural phe- 
nomena; and no objectivity can be attached to such 
visions. At the same time they show us the attitude 
of mind of many of the soldiers — very different from 
the coarse materialism which we should have expected 
to Bud, — living the life they do. That this changed 
attitude does have an effect upon the soldiers is seen 
by the following incident, in which the religious faith 
of the patient effected his permanent cure. 






A Soldier's Vision and Its Sequel 



ag 
di, 
ho 
fin 



"The Dublin correspondent of the London Star re- 
ports that much discussion is being created in that city 
by the remarkable story of a soldier whose speech and 
hearing were restored to him after he had seen a vision 
of the nun known as 'The Little Flower': — 

"The soldier is Stephen Conroy, aged fifty-four, a 
private in the 2nd Leinster Regiment. As a result of 
shell-shock he was struck deaf and dumb six months 
ago. His case, because of the gravity of the functional 

sorder and the age of the patient, was regarded as 

n|" l< ■>. He was sent from hospital to hospital, and 
finally came under the care of the nuns in Jervis-street 
Hospital in this city. 

"Conroy is a deeply religious man, and he adopted 
the suggestion that he should carry out the devotion 
to 'The Little Flower.' He states that on Sunday 
morning at about 2.30, a white form appeared at his 



342 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

bedside 'all dazzling light and a wreath of flowers on 
her head, and having said something in plain Eng- 
lish,' which he hope3 to recall, counselled him to say 
certain prayers morning and evening, and vanished. 

"Then the night nurse, to her amazement, was called 
by the excited patient, who told her what he had seen." 

It does not concern us now whether the inner char- 
acter of this experience was objective or subjective — 
an actuality, or merely the result of faith. What does 
concern us is that a cure was actually effected, in this 
case; and that it was the condition or attitude of the 
soldier's mind which brought it about. 

The following account, appearing in the Interna- 
tional Psychic Gazette for October, 1917, narrates a 
vision of a semi-religious nature, seen by a soldier ; 
the front. It refers to the well-known apparition of :- 

The Comrade in White 

"After having read of 'The Comrade in "White 
which is a name given to a mysterious stranger said t 
frequently appear on the battlefields in Europe, and t 
assist wounded soldiers, I had a strong desire to kno 1 
who that helper really was. I could not bring my r 
to think he was the Master Jesus; I thought he mu 
be one of the many astral helpers who have laboured c 
the Borderland during the war, as I myself can teati 
After some months the thought passed out of my r. 
but my desire, 'the soul's sincere desire,' was 
to be gratified, in a manner beyond my most sai 
expectations. 

"One evening recently, I felt as though I were bein 
raised to a great height, and was about to stand in t 
presence of a powerful, majestic Being. I then i 



SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AWAKENED 343 

stinctly heard clairandiently the following words: — 
'In each an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man 
cometh.' I came to the conclusion that so-called Death 
was near, that some one was about to pass over, and 
wandered away from the house on to the lawn, at- 
tracted by the marvellous splendour of the starry, 
moonlight night. While gazing at the heavens I felt 
as though Borne one touched me, and found myself 
face to face with the 'Comrade in White.' He ap- 
peared to possess a physical body like that of any other 
man, but His vibrations were far more powerful than 
those of any other human being. With very deep sym- 
pathy He looked intently at me and said, 'I am the 
Master Jesus, the Comrade in White.' Then He van- 
ished as suddenly as He had appeared, and I was left 
alone to ponder over this glorious experience, and my 
soul was filled with a song of thanksgiving, when I 
realized that the Master Jesus had deemed me worthy 
of such a visitation." 

Many religious visions and experiences of a like na- 
ture could be given — did space permit. But we will 
limit ourselves to one other case of this nature. 



"The Angels of Mons" 

Peculiarly conflicting evidence has been presented in 
the case of a semi-religious vision which is said to 
have been seen by numbers of soldiers on the historic 
retreat from Mons — I refer to the now-famous "Angels 
of Mons." The m ain outlines of this incident are 
doubtless too well known to need more than the brief- 
est mention. At the very moment when the German 
hordes seemed about to overwhelm the British Army, 



344 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

phantom warriors (so the story goes) intervene! 
English bowmen from the field of Agincourt — and kept 
the Germans at bay until the main army succeeded in 
making good its escape. Such waB the report, circu- 
lated at the time. 

No sooner had this account been spread than Mr. 
Arthur Machen, a well-known English writer, came 
forward, and asserted that he had invented the whole 
tale, in his story "The Bowmen," which was then pub- 
lished in book form. The whole story, he claimed, 
originated in his imagination. Ab opposed to this, 
however, several soldiers now came forward, and as- 
serted that they had actually seen the phantom army 
referred to, or something very like it; and Mr. Harold 
Begbie published a book, On the Side of the Angels, in 
which he produced quite a volume of evidence, varying 
in excellence from first-hand reports to mere hearsay 
and Mr. Ralph Shirley, the editor of the Occult iiei 
also published a booklet, The Angel Warriors of M 
containing additional evidence. 

The case is assuredly puzzling. I do not for one 
moment pretend to say that phantom bowmen actually 
took part in this historical battle, or that they sav< 
the British army from destruction — as has been 
serted in the past ; but, on the other hand, it appears 
me that the evidence which was presented at the 
cannot be brushed aside as easily as it has been in 
tain quarters, as unworthy of serious considerate 
Rather, we have here, it seems to me, on any theory, 
remarkably interesting psychological problem,- 
which is well worthy of being recorded and bei 
studied, — at least from that pomt-of-view. Partly 
cause of this, and partly because it throws so intei 
ing a light upon the early days of the war, I 



raay ; 
view, 
Mons, 









SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AWAKENED 345 

duco here, by kind permission, a portion of an article 
by Misa Phyllis Campbell, published in the Occult Re- 
view, September, 1915. It runs aa follows: — 

The torrent of blistered, bleeding, stony-eyed Bel- 
gian refugees which had poured through our bands 
unceasingly, night and day, for the tirBt hot breathleas 
weeka of last August, was Buddenty stemmed by the 
wounded. The miseries of thoae first wounded can- 
not ever be written. To those who tended them they 
brought like misery, for, individually and in the mass, 
they expreased a conviction of swiftly approaching dis- 
aster. They bore their sufferings with unexampled 
heroism; but their very dumbness suggested the hope- 
less silence of defeat. When they spoke at all, they 
spoke, if they were French, of "soixante-dix"; if they 
were British they said heavily they were "up against 
it now." One man, a Highlander, opened his dying 
eyes and urged ua to 8y while there was time. "Get 
awa', laaaie," he whiapered. "Get awa'! They Ger- 
mans ib no men; they're devils. All Hell is open now." 

Briefly, that is what all the wounded thought — what 
they all sought to convey to us, and as the days dragged 
on and the bloody toll increased, the members of the 
ambulance diminished. They, or their fathers and 
mothers, remembered "aoixante-dix," and thoae who 
could go went; and so our work became harder, and 
the wounded poured in and in, till the expectation of 
quick victory for the Allies faded, and though the amall 
band of us remaining disdained to acknowledge fear, 
yet we also were instructed by the commandant to pre- 
pare for retreat, taking the wounded with us. Then 
came the torrid days of Mons, and suddenly a change 
in the wounded, utterly unaccountable. The French, 
who had tolerantly accepted badges and medals of the 



346 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE W. 



saints from the Catholics of our post, now eagerly 
asked for them, and were profusely grateful for "holy 
pictures" — those little prints of saints and angels so 
common in all Catholic communities. But what puzzled 
the post was that these men, without a solitary excep- 
tion, demanded invariably, "St. Michael" or "Joan 
of Arc." 

Also, these men, in spite of their horrible wonnds 
and great weakness from loss of blood, were in a state 
of singular exaltation. We thought at first that some 
of them had been supplied with wine, bnt that was 
clearly impossible, as our post was the first stop, and 
the trains came right through from the clearing sta- 
tion, without attention of any sort, as the fighting was 
then at its fiercest. 

This curious mental condition in the wounded 
tinued during the long retreat on Paris. Many of 
wounded died in our hands, but the living no lon| 
urged us to fly; they "died in hope," as if they we] 
mentally visioning victory, where their immediate fore- 
runners had only seen defeat. 

I tremble, now that it is safely past, to look back on 
the terrible week that brought the Allies to Vitry- 
Francois. We had not had our clothes off for tl 
whole of that week, because no sooner had we reach* 
home, too weary to undress, or to eat, and fallen on our 
beds, than the "chug-chug" of the commandant's car 
would sound into the silence of the deserted street, and 
the horn would imperatively summon us back to duty, — ■ 
because, in addition to our duties, as ambutantier 
auxiliare, we were interpreters to the post, now at 
moment diminished to half a dozen. 

Eeturning at 4.30 in the morning, we stood on 
end of the platform, watching the tram crawl through 



AH 
erly 



con- 
Fthe 
nger 
were 

fore- 

: on 

t 

bed 

our 
car 
and 

>".— 
tier 

: 

ugh 



SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AWAKENED 347 

the blue-green of the forest into the clearing, and draw 
up with the first wounded from Vitry-le-Francois. It 
was packed with dead and dying and badly wounded. 
For a time we forgot our weariness in a race against 
time, removing the dead and dying, and attending to 
those in need. I was bandaging a man 's shattered arm 
with the majeur instructing me, while he stitched a 

horrible gap in his head, when Madame d'A , the 

heroic President of the post, came and replaced me. 
"There is an English in the fifth wagon," she said. 
"He demands a something — I think a holy picture." 
The idea of an English soldier demanding a holy pic- 
ture Btruck me, even in that atmosphere of hlood and 
misery, as something to smile at, but I hurried away. 
"The English" was a Lancashire Fusilier. He was 
propped in a corner, his left arm tied up in a peasant 
woman's head 'kerchief, and his head newly bandaged. 
•He should have been in a state of collapse from loss 
of blood, for his tattered uniform was soaked and caked 
in blood, and his face paper-white under the dirt of 
conflict. He looked at me with bright courageous eyes 
and asked for a picture or a medal (he didn't care 
which) of St. George. I asked if he was a Catholic. 
"No," he was a Wesleyan Methodist (I hope I have it 
right), and he wanted a picture, or a medal of St 
George, because he had seen him on a white horse, 
leading the British at Vitry-le-Francois, when the Al- 
lies turned. 

There was an R. F. A. man, wounded in the leg, sit- 
ting beBide him on the floor; he saw my look of amaze- 
ment, and hastened in. "It's true, Sister," be said. 
"We all saw it. First there was a sort of a yellowish 
mist like, sort of risin' before the Germans as they 
come to the top of the hill, come on like a solid wall 



348 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

they did— springing out of the earth just solid — no 
end to 'em. I just give up. No use fighting the whole 
German race, thinks I; it's all up with us. The next 
minute comes this funny cloud of light, and when it 
clears off there's a tall man with yellow hair in golden 
armour, on a white horse, holding his sword up, and his 
mouth open as if he was saying, 'Come on, boys, I'll 
put the kybosh on the devils.' Sort of 'This is my 
picnic' expression. Then, before you could say jack- 
knife, the Germans had turned, and we were after them, 
fighting like ninety. We had a few scores to settle, 
Sister, and we fair settled them!" 

"Where was this?" I asked. But neither of them 
could tell. They had marched, fighting a rearguard 
action, from Mons, till St. George had appeared 
through the haze of light, and turned the Germans. 
They both knew it was St. George. Hadn't they seen 
him with his sword on every "quid" they'd ever had! 
The Frenchies had seen him, too, ask them; but they 
said it was St. Michsel. 

The French wounded were again in that curiously 
exalted condition we had remarked before — only more 
go — a sort of self-contained rapture of happinesB — 
"Yes" it was quite true. The Bodies were in full re- 
treat, and the Allies were being led to victory by St. 
Michiel and Joan of Arc 

"As for petite Jeanne d'Arc," Baid one soldier, "I 
know her well, for I am of Domremy. I saw her bran- 
dishing her sword and crying, 'Turn! Turn! Ad- 
vance!" Yes, he knew others had seen the Archangel, 
but little Joan of Arc was good enough for him. He 
had fought with the English from Mons — and little 
Joan of Arc had defeated the English — par exempts 






SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AWAKENED 349 

Now she waB leading them. There was a combination 
for yon ! No wonder the Boches fled down hill. 

After the train crawled out, and we had time to 
speak, the President drew me aside, and confided to me, 
that a wounded officer of high rank had told her he had 
seen St. Michael at Vitry-le-Franc,oia. He was quite 
close to the Blessed Visitant and there could be no 
doubt on the subject. At first be thought he was to 
die, and, as he had been a violent Agnostic and ma- 
terialist all his life, that this was a wanting to him to 
make swift repentance in preparation for judgment. 
Soon, however, he saw that, so far from requiring his 
life, God had sent assistance in the fight, and that so 
clearly was on the side of the Allies, that the Germans 
must needs therefore be evd, and of the DeviL 

I then told Madame d'A the story of the two 

British soldiers who wanted pictures of St. George, 
and we decided to eompare notes with the others. Only 
one of us had not heard the tale of the Angelic Lead- 
ers, and she had been detailed by the majeur to guard 
three wounded Germans, one of whom had died of 
tetanus, the other two had gangrene. Her duty was 
to stand some paces off and prevent any one touching 
them, so she had consequently no opportunity of con- 
versation. 

On discussing the matter between the trains of 
wounded, we remarked: First, that the French sol- 
diers of all ranks had seen two well-known saints — 
Joan of Arc — to whom many of those delirious with 
the torrid heat and loss of blood were praying — that 
she was in armour, bareheaded, riding a white horse, 
and calling ' ' Advance, ' ' while she brandished her 
sword high in the air; and St. Michael the Archangel, 
clad in golden armour, bareheaded, riding a white 



350 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

horse, and flourishing his sword, while he shon 
"Victory!" Second, the British had seen St. George, 
hi golden armour, bareheaded, riding a white horse 
and crying while he held up his sword, "Come onl" 

There were individual discrepancies, naturally, bat 
in the main the story was the same, seen in cold blood 
at a moment of despair, and continued in the realiza- 
tion of victory. It was always related quietly and 
sanely, in a matter-of-fact fashion, as if it were a usual 
and quite expected occurrence for the lords of heaven 
to lead the hosts of earth. Of one thing all were as- 
sured — that the Germans represented the powers of 
evil, and that so doubtfully did victory hang in the bal- 
ance, that the powers of good found it necessary to 
fight hand in hand and foot to foot with the Allies, 
lest the whole world be lost 

That night we heard the tale again, from the lips 
of a priest this time, two officers, and three men of 
the Irish Guard. These three men were mortally 
wounded, they asked for the Sacrament before deal 
and before dying told the same story to the old 
who confessed them. 

That was our last night with the ambulance at 
post, we were now moved on to the hospital, and took 
our regular work as ambulancier. There we had time 
to hear more, and the men told us in fragments of the 
long retreat from Mons, fighting all the way like Tro- 
jans, marching night and day, and day and night, of 
the men falling in the ranks and being kicked to tin 
feet by the officers — of the officers falling off their f< 
drunk with sleep, and being kicked and pushed to th< 
feet again by the men — of men who dragged and 
ried their officers, of officers who dragged and wir 
their men — of horses failing dead in their traces, 



xauy 
eath, 

t the 









SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AWAKENED 351 

Of men who harneBBed themselves in and dragged the 
guns — of motor transport that drove itself with drivers 
hanging dead asleep over the wlieels, or sitting with 
wide-open eyes, and dead hands steering the munitions 
and food of the retreating army. 

For forty-eight hours no food, no drink, under a 
tropical sun, choked with dust, harried by shell, and 
marching, marching, marching, till even the pursuing 
Germans gave it up, and at Vitry-le-Francois the Al- 
lies fell in their tracks and slept for three hours — 
horse, foot and gunB — while the exhausted pursuers 
slept behind them. 

Then came the trumpet call, and each man sprang 
to his arms to find himself made anew. One man said, 
"I felt as if I had just come out of the sea after a 
swim. Fit! just grand 1 I never felt ao fit in my life, 
and every man of us the same. The Germans were 
coming on just the same as ever, when suddenly the 
'Advance' sounded, and I saw the luminous mist and 
the great man on the white horse, and I knew the 
Boches would never get Paris, for God was fighting 
on our side. . . ." 

Additional evidence, as to the actuality of visions 
seen by many of the men at this time was soon forth- 
coming. An officer, for example, who had shared in 
the historic Mons retreat, reading what Mr. Machen 
had said regarding the origin of these phenomena, 
wrote to the London Evening News, for September 14 
(1915), giving an account of certain visions he himself 
has seen — differing, however, considerably from the 

historic" phenomena. The letter was in reply to a 
statement made by Mr. Machen to the effect that: 
It is odd that nobody has come forward to testify 



352 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

at first hand to the most amazing event of his life." 
"It is this remark," wrote the officer in question, 
"which inclines me to write," and he proceeds to tell 
his own experiences. It appears from this account 
that on August 26, 1914, he was fighting in the battle of 
Le Cateau. From this sanguinary engagement his di 
vision retired in good order and was marching all tl 
night of the 26th and during the 27th with only 
hourB' rest. 

"On the night of the 27th," says Mr. Machen's coi 
respondent, "I was riding along in the column wi 
two other officers. "We had been talking and doing our 
best to keep from falling asleep on onr horses. 

"As we rode along I became conscious of the fact 
that, in the fields on both sides of the road along which 
we were marching I could see a very large body of 
horsemen. These horsemen had the appearance of 
squadrons of cavalry, and they seemed to be riding 
across the fields and going in the same direction as we 
were going, and keeping level with ns. 

"The night was not very dark, and I fancied tl 
I could see the squadron of these cavalrymen qui 
distinctly. 

"I did not say a word about it at first, but I watched 
them for about twenty minutes. The other two offi- 
cers had stopped talking. 

"At last one of them asked me if I saw anything in 
the fields. I then told him what I had seen. The thi 
officer then confessed that he too bad been watcbi: 
these horsemen for the past twenty minutes. 

"So convinced were we that they were really cav- 
alry that, at the next halt, one of the officers took t 
party of men out to reconnoitre, and found mi om 



lite 

led 
,ffi- 



SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AWAKENED 353 

there. The night then grew darker, and we saw no 
more. 

"The same phenomenon was seen by many men in 
our column. Of course, we were all dog-tired and over- 
taxed, but it is an extraordinary thing that the same 
phenomenon should be witnessed by so many people. 

'I myself am absolutely convinced that I saw these 
horsemen; and I feel sure that they did not exist only 
in my imagination. I do not attempt to explain the 
mystery — I only state facts." 

The above evidence, which is obviously of consider- 
able importance, does not appear in Mr. Harold Beg- 
bie's book On the Side of the Angels, which claims to 
be a counterblast to Mr. Machen's Bowmen, the evi- 
dence apparently having come to light too late for in- 
sertion. Mr. Bcgbie, however, gives a very detailed 
account of another first-hand record, — which is per- 
haps, — at least up to the present date,— the most 
important statement of the kind with the exception of 
the Lient.-ColonePs. This is the record of a certain 
wounded soldier, a lance-corporal, who was lying, at 
the time the statement was made public, at an English 
hospital, and, in fact, was awaiting an operation, which 
haB since been performed. Though the lance-cor- 
poral's name is not given, it is well-known to a number 
of people who have been investigating these matters, 
and in particular Mr. Begbie went out of his way to 
have a long interview with the soldier in question. The 
statement was first made by him in conversation with 
the hospital nurse, who in turn repeated it to the Lady 
Superintendent of the Red Cross, — Misb M. Courtney 
Wilson. This account was first given with no idea at 
all of its attracting public attention, but merely in cas- 
ual conversation with the nurse referred to, and the 



354 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAB 

narrator was a good deal surprised to learn of the 
publicity that had been given to it. "He is a soldier," 
says Mr. Begbie (quoting a friend of his who went to 
Bee him), "of many years' service, with a clean mili- 
tary record. I should take him to be a man of two or 
three and thirty. He spoke to me of his vision in a 
cool, calm, matter-of-fact way, as of something he had 
certainly seen. He made no attempt either to theorize 
or dogmatize about it. Hib whole narrative was marked 
by sincerity." The soldier's verbatim statement is 
given by Mr. Begbie, and it may be worth while repro- 
ducing it here, though it appears in an abbreviated 
form in The Angel Warriors of Mons. 

"I was in my battalion in the retreat from Mons on 
or about August 28. The German cavalry were ex- 
pected to make a charge, and we were waiting to fire 
and scatter them so as to enable the French cavalry 
who were on our right to make a dash forward. How- 
ever, the German aeroplanes discovered our position 
and we remained where we were. 

"The weather was very hot and clear, and between 
eight and nine o'clock in the evening I was standing 
with a party of nine other men on duty, and some dis- 
tance on either side there were parties of ten on guard. 
Immediately behind as half of my battalion was on 
the edge of a wood resting. An officer suddenly came 
up to us in a state of great anxiety and asked us if we 
had seen anything startling (the word used was 'as- 
tonishing'). He hurried away from my ten to the 
next party of ten. When he had got ont of sight I, 
who was the non-commissioned officer in charge, or- 
dered two men to go forward out of the way of 
trees in order to find out what the officer meant Tl 
two men returned reporting that they could see 



or- 






. 



SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AWAKENED 355 

sign of any Gennans ; at that time we thought that the 
officer must be expecting a surprise attack. 

"Immediately afterwards the officer came back, and 
taking me and some others a few yards away showed 
ns the sky. I could see quite plainly in mid-air a 
strange light which seemed to be quite distinctly out- 
lined and was not a reflection of the moon, nor were 
there any clouds in the neighbourhood. The light be- 
came brighter and I could see quite distinctly three 
shapes — one in the centre having what looked like out- 
spread wings, the other two were not so large, but 
were quite plainly distinct from the centre one. They 
appeared to have a long loose hanging garment of 
golden tint, and they were above the German line fac- 
ing as. 

"We stood watching them for about three-quarters 
of an hour. All the men with me saw them, and other 
men came up from other groupB who also told us that 
they had seen the same thing. I am not a believer in 
such things, but I have not the slightest doubt that we 
really did see what I now tell you. 

"I remember the day because it was a day of terri- 
ble anxiety for us. That morning the Munsters had 
had a bad time on our right and so had the Scots 
Guards. We managed to get to the wood and there we 
barricaded the roads and remained in the formation I 
have told you. Later on the Uhlans attacked us and we 
drove them back with heavy loss. It was after this 
engagement when we were dog-tired that the vision ap- 
peared to us. 

' ' I shall never forget it as long as I live. I lie awake 
in bed and picture it as I saw it that night. Of my 
battalion there are now only five men alive besides my- 
self, and I have no hope of ever getting back to the 



356 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WA 

front. I have a record of fifteen years* good service, 
and I should be very sorry to make a fool of myself 
by telling a story merely to please any one." 

Oar anthor obtained further interesting informa- 
tion from the soldier when he went to interview him, 
especially as regards the impression that the vision 
made upon the other men in his regiment. 

"It was very funny," he said. "We came over quiet 
and still. It took us that way. We didn't know what 
to make of it. And there we all were, looking up at 
those three figures, saying nothing, just wondering, 
when one of the chaps called out, 'God's with us I* — 
and that kind of loosened us. Then when we were fall- 
ing in for the march, the captain said to us, 'Well, 
men, we can cheer up now; we've got Some One with 
us!' And that's just how we felt. As I tell you, we 
marched thirty-two miles that night, and the Germans 
didn't fire either cannon or rifle the whole way." 

Mr. Begbie inquired of the lance-corporal if he had 
met any of the men who saw the vision since he had 
got back to England. He stated that he had only met 
one — a sergeant of the Scots Guards who was lying 
in Netley hospital, and added, "He remembers it just 
the same as I do. " "Of course, ' ' he continued, ' ' these 
chaps in here won't believe it. They think I must have 
dreamed it, but the Bergeant in the Scots Guards could 
tell them. I have never seen anything like it before 
or since — I know very well what I saw." 

Such is the character of the first-hand evidence whits' 
has come to us regarding the most remarkable : 
ligious vision of the war — "The Angels of Mons, ri 
Some see in this merely a wide-spread delusion; a syi 
tematio hallucination, followed by an eager publi 






SPIBITUAL EEVIVAL AWAKENED 357 

credulity — a species of toxic delirium followed by a 
form of popular hysteria. Yet perhaps the case cannot 
be dismissed so lightly as this ; visions of varying char- 
acters were undoubtedly seen by many soldiers at this 
time; and if ever the men of earth had need of the 
hosts of heaven to help them, it was then I Another 
view of the case might perhaps be tenable — for in- 
stance the following, communicated by a New Zealand- 
er to the columns of the Harbinger of Light (Mel- 
bourne) : 

"Testimony of a similar character has poured in 
ever since the memorable retreat from Mons, when 
General French's 'contemptible little army' was 
saved from annihilation by what many people are con- 
vinced to have been the direct intervention of powerful 
spiritual forces. We know of no reason for question- 
ing this conclusion. On the other hand there is abun- 
dant Biblical and other evidence which supports the 
occurrence of such phenomena, including the very sig- 
nificant incident in relation to Elisha and 'the young 
man,' when the latter, on having his spiritual eyes 
opened — or, as we say in these modern times, after he 
had become clairvoyant — saw the hillside covered with 
celestial horsemen, who bad come to the aid of the hard- 
pressed prophet. 

"The spirit world is a greater reality and much 
nearer to us than most people think, and the emis- 
saries of the Most High keep constant watch over mun- 
dane affairs and unceasingly direct the evolution of 
the human race. This spiritual truth is not generally 
recognized today, but the time is coming when it will 
be universally accepted, and mankind will be com- 
pelled to realize it is literally true that 'the angel of 



358 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

the Lord encampeth round them that fear Him, and 
delivereth them.' '*" 

Whatever the ultimate truth regarding these " Vis- 
ions" may prove to be, however, it is certain that, from 
the psychological and historical points of view, they 
deserve careful consideration and study; and it is be- 
cause of these reasons that I have deemed them worthy 
of inclusion in this boob. From any point of view — 
whether they be regarded as a species of remarkable 
hallucinatory experiences, or as a direct manifesta- 
tion of the spiritual world — they constitute an essen- 
tial historical part of the psychology of the present 
war; and, as Buch, they justify their insertion in this 
book, and particularly in this Chapter. 

And thus, by dream and vision, — by deeds of heroism 
and self-sacrifice, — has the soul of man become re- 
generated — has a great Spiritual quickening and re- 
vival spread through all the nations — for nations have 
become regenerated no less than individuals. 

Indeed, as M. Le Bon says — and what he says of 
France applies equally to the soldiers of all the Allies, 
though no one will begrudge France — bleeding yet 
glorious — the words of praise he bestows upon her : — ■ 

"France will no doubt emerge regenerated and all 
the stronger from the present tragedy, for the heroio 
qualities of her defenders show that the anarchy which 
seemed to threaten her was purely superficial. The 
dauntless courage of our young men is a consoling 
sight to the wondering eyes of ub who behold it. They 
will have lived through the most prodigious adventure 
in history, an epoch whose grandeur transcends that 

* A few additions] first-hand case* are to be found in the B«r. 
A. A. Boddy's booklet — Real Angela at Mont. 



SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AWAKENED 359 

of the most far-famed legends. For what are the ex- 
ploits of Homer's warriors, or the gallant feats of 
Charlemagne's fabulous companions, or the combats 
of paladins and magicians, compared with the gigantic 
struggles at whose progress the world looks on 
amazed! 

"No one could have foreseen the marvellous efflor- 
escence of the self -same virtues of men who come from 
the most widely sundered classes of Bociety. With- 
drawn from their tranquil existence on the farm, in the 
office, the workshop, the school, or even the palace, they 
find themselves abruptly transported into the heart of 
an adventure so stupendous and impossible that only in 
dreams have men ever had glimpses of its like. Truly 
they are new beings whom threatened France has seen 
rise up in her defense ; being ereated by a rejuvenes- 
cence of the astral soul, which sometimes slumbers but 
never dies. Sons of the heroes of Tolbiac, Bonvines, 
and Marengo, these dauntless fighters felt all the valour 
of their glorious fathers revive within them at their 
country's first call. Plunged into a hideous inferno, 
they have often Bpoken heroic words such as history 
makes immortal. 'Arise, ye dead!' cried the last sol- 
dier in a trench surrounded on every side, to his wound- 
ed companions who had been laid low by the enemy's 
machine-guns. Greece would have plaited crowns for 
that man and sung his memory. 

"To die a hero in a noble cause is an enviable lot 
for one who has believed himself destined to naught 
save an empty and monotonous existence ; for not ac- 
cording to length of days is life worth living, but ac- 
cording to work accomplished, and the defenders of 
the saered soil of our fathers, the handicrafts-men of 
our future, they who have forged a new France on the 



360 PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA AND THE WAR 

anvil of Pate, our dead, who yet are immortal, are al- 
ready entered into the pantheon of those demi-gods 
whom the nations adore and whom the hand of Time 
himself can no more harm." 




INDEX 



D'Albe, Prof. Fournier, 103-4. 

Aksakof, M. Alexander, 135. 

Angels of Mons, 343-58. 

Apparitions, 124-25. 

Argon, 118. 

Artillery, fire, 59. 

Atrocities, 9-19. 

Attack, psychology of, 62-85, pa»- 

Auer, D. E. Murray, 86; ST. 

Balfour, Hon. A. J., 272. 
Balfour, Hon. 0. W., 123. 
Barrett, Sir William F., 252; 277- 

80. 
Begbie, Harold, 353 54. 
Bernbardi, 25. 
Sevan, Dr. F., 197-98. 
Blondis, Victor, 337-39. 
Blood, significance of, 83. 
Bdil.lv, Be*. A. A., 358. 
Bozzano, Dr., 149. 
Brittain, Mrs. Annie, 275; 277. 
Butcher, Professor, 123. 

Campbell, Miss Phyllis, 34551. 
Cantonments, psychology of, 42-51. 
Chapman, John Jay, 330-32. 
Cbevea, B. P., 312-18. 
Colour, effects of, 91-3. 
Comrade in White, 342-43. 
Cooper, Sir William E„ 272. 
Courage, psychology of, 44-48; 78- 



28; 31-32; 58; 79-80; 83; 85- 

86; 88-89; 9394. 
Crookes, Sir William, 108; 252; 

272. 
Cross-Correspondences, 123-24. 
Crowd, psychology of, 32-36. 
Cure, methods of, 90-93. 



Davis, A. J., 228-35. 

Dawson, Lieut. Coningsby, 97. 

Death, subject of, 103-4; 111-15. 

Death, what happens at, 243 rt sqq. 

Delbceuf, Prof., 138. 

Dewar, Lord, 272. 

Donnelly, Corporal Hal B., 65 72. 

Dowding, Private Thomas, 318-26. 

Dowsing, 131-33. 

Doyle, Sir A. Conui, 108; 252; 

326. 
Dreams, of soldiers, 88-90. 

Eeden, Dr. F. Van, 139. 



Fatigue, 93-95. 
Fear, psychology of, 52-53. 
Flammarion, Camille, 190; 220-23. 
French, Field Marshal Lord, 164- 

65. 
Freud, Dr. 8ig., 134-35. 
Frightfulness, psychology of, 20, 



79. 
Crile, Dr. Q. W, 



18; 



Groa, Dr., 94. 

Group -photograph, 311-18. 



Heroism, psychology of, 76. 
Hill, J. Arthur, 207; 219-20. 
Hodgson, Dr. B., 307. 
Hotehuer, Mrs. Marie Russak, 173- 



7. r ,. 



108; 114; 



James, Prof. William, 108; 115; 

126. 
Jenkins, Rev. Ernest, 252-53. 

Kelly, Sapper, 132-33. 
Kinetic system, 31. 
King, Dr. John, 140. 
Kipling, Rudyard, 3B; 105. 
Kitchener, Lord, 159-60. 

Lnhy, M., 60. 

Leaf, Dr. Horace, 326. 

Le Bon, Dr. Oustev, viii; 24; 26- 

27; 33-34; 358-60. 
Leonard, Mrs. Osborne, 274. 
Leuba, Prof. James H-, 115-16. 
Levis, Jobn, 284-87. 
Lodge, Sir Oliver, vli; 108; 246; 

251; 252; 262-69; 272; 280; 

306-18. 
Lombroao, Prof., 137; 138. 

Machen, Arthur, 344; 351. 
MncKonna, Dr. Robert, 113. 
Maeterlinck, M., viii; 81-82; 138- 

39; 257-58; 333-34; 336-37. 
Materialism, 102-3; 117. 
Maths, of Kremna, 145-48. 
Mutts, Dr., 139. 
Meader, John R., 103. 
Modiumship, question of, 108-11. 
Miyatovioh, Count, 145-48. 
Mobilization, effect* of, 30-32. 



Monoideism, 63; 84. 
Mont, Angels of, 343-58, 
Morselli, Prof., 137. 
Mounteier, Robert, 287-95. 
Myers, F. W. H., 106; 108; 
307; 308; 31L 



Pain, psychology of, 85-86. 
Pear, T. H., 97. 
Pemberton, Max, 326. 
Personality, in war, 36-39. 
Peters, A. Vout, 273. 
Photophobia, 90. 
Piper, Mrs. L. E., 307. 
Plato, 110. 

Pole, Tudor, 318 et #jq. 
Post-mortem letters, 122-23. 
Premonitions, theories of, 149-50. 
Premonitions, cases of, 149-71. 
Prosser, H. Kemp, 91-93. 
Psychical Research, 3-4; et 



Ramsey, Professor, 118. 
Ray lei gh p Lord, 118. 
Raymond (Lodge), 306-18. 
Raynor, Mrs. Ethel, viii. 
Renan, E., 251. 
Richrt, Prof. Charles, 5; 1 
Bobbins, Miss, 307. 

Sabntior, M. Paul, 39-41; 327 2 
Salter, Mrs. H. del!., I 

186. 

Schiller. Prof. F. C. 8., 104; 141 
Scbrenek Notiing, Dr., 133-34. 
Shell Shock, 86-93; 97. 



INDEX 



363 



Shirley, Ralph, viii; 132-33; 141; 

143-45; 207; 324; 344. 
Sidgwick, Mrs. Henry, 140. 
de Sivetoehowski, Dr. G., 91-92. 
Sleep, psychology of, 93-95. 
Smith, Dr. G. Elliot, 97. 
Solovovo, Count, 135. 
Spinoza, 104. 

Stead, Miss Estelle, 150; 295-302. 
Stevenson, B. L., 127. 
Stuart, Boss, viii; 150; 172; 195. 

Tardieu, M. A., 142-43. 
Telepathy, question of, 120-21; 
217. 



Tennyson, 261. 
Thurston, Herbert, 142. 
Trenches, psychology of the, 51-60. 
Turner, Gen. Sir Alfred, 293-95. 
Twins, sympathy between, 198-99. 

Verrall, Dr. A. W., 123. 
Verrall, Mrs., 308. 

Wallace, Dr. A. B., 108. 
Whitty, Michel, 302-6. 

Zelst, Z. van, 139. 

Zones, civil and military, 41-42. 



h 






I 



. 1 






iii 111 1 mi niii mil 

3 LIDS 024 310 21L